Protest against the military in front of Cair
Protest against the military in front of CairReuters

Two people were killed on Wednesday in clashes between Egypt’s security forces and hundreds of students at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, reports Al Arabiya.

More than 1,500 students had marched earlier from the university campus in Cairo's Nasr City to Al-Azhar’s central administrative building, the state-owned Al-Ahram news website reported.

When the students attempted to storm the building, security forces intervened and forced them to return to the campus, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Earlier reports suggested that a campus building was set on fire, but a university employee told Al Arabiya that a number of trees were burning.

He said dozens of students were detained by police.

The students reportedly shouted slogans against the interior ministry and military general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The demanded the removal of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb and Al-Azhar University President Osama el-Abd, who they accuse of providing a religious cover-up for the military-back government’s perceived crimes.

The university has been the site of protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose president Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the military in July.

Al-Azhar University is considered the central university in the Muslim world for religious studies, and many students there are supporters of Morsi.

Several weeks ago, Egyptian police entered the Al-Azhar University in Cairo to confront Islamist protesters. It was the first time security forces had moved on a campus since 2010.

Ten days earlier, Egyptian security forces were forced to fire tear gas to disperse hundreds of student protesters at the university. 55 student rioters were arrested.

Egypt has witnessed protests and clashes that have left scores dead since Morsi’s ouster on July 3.

The worst violence was in August, when police forcibly dispersed two protest camps set up by Morsi supporters.

Last week, a court sentenced 12 Al-Azhar students to 17 years in prison for attacking the university’s administrative building.