Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Cairo rally
Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Cairo rally Reuters

At least three people were killed and 265 pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters were arrested on Friday after country-wide demonstrations in Egypt, Al Arabiya reported.

Security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters in several Egyptian cities, in an attempt to quell demonstrations after the end of midday Friday prayers, the report said.

The protests came amid a tightening of security in the capital after the Muslim Brotherhood and its allied groups renewed calls for mass rallies against the interim military-backed government.

Anti-riot police chased student protesters demonstrating against security forces at the Islamic al-Azhar University in the capital, while footage aired on private TV networks showed students hurling stones and setting fire to tree branches to defuse tear gas, according to Al Arabiya.

Police also clashed with protesters in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, while state media reported that police fired tear gas at other demonstrators in Cairo, according to AFP.

The interior ministry said a man was killed the night before in clashes around al-Azhar University between Islamist students and civilians who oppose them.

On Thursday, Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The latest crackdown on the movement started a day after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s interim government.

The government’s labeling of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization means that any participants in rallies in support of the group will be sentenced to five years in prison, while the group leaders could face the death penalty under anti-terror laws.

The terror designation came a day after a massive suicide car bombing in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.

Tuesday's attack was claimed by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a Sinai-based Al Qaeda-inspired group which has claimed various attacks in and outside the Sinai peninsula, including the unsuccessful September 5 car bomb against interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim in Cairo.

Nevertheless, Egypt’s government has said that there is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ongoing terrorism in the country.

An official in the United States told Reuters on Thursday that Washington believed the Egyptian government was going "way too far" in its current crackdown on the Brotherhood and its supporters, but won’t take action against the interim government in Cairo.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)