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Middle East

Anti-army protest staged at Cairo University

Hundreds of university students rally against army-backed government, two days after violent clashes.

Last Modified: 08 Oct 2013 21:46
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Hundreds of anti-government protesters chanted "Down with the military government" outside Cairo University on Tuesday, defying Egypt's army-backed authorities despite deadly clashes with security forces two days earlier.

Supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi had urged university students to protest against the army following the violence on Sunday, one of the Egypt's bloodiest days since the military ousted the Islamist leader on July 3.

State media said 57 people were killed on a national holiday that marks the start of Egypt's 1973 war against Israel.

"We are here standing against the coup," said Enas Madkour, a 19-year-old fine arts student at the march near Cairo University, where security forces had parked two tanks and blocked the main road with barbed wire. "I'm against Morsi but I'm not for people killing others and I'm not for the military government we have now."

Other students dismissed those views, however. "Sisi is a hero and there's no one like him," said Rania Ibrahim, 18, referring to General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the defence minister who led Morsi's ouster.

Small protests also occurred at Helwan University in southern Cairo, witnesses said.

At Zagazig University, northeast of Cairo, pro-Brotherhood students clashed with residents and Brotherhood opponents with fists, sticks and stones, security sources said. Eight people were wounded.

Brotherhood NGO delisted

Authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood in recent weeks. Security forces killed hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo in August and then arrested many Brotherhood leaders.

On Tuesday, Egypt's cabinet ordered authorities to remove the Muslim Brotherhood from the list of approved non-governmental organisations following a judicial order, state media have reported.

The move comes after an Egyptian court last month banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and ordered its assets seized, amid a massive crackdown on the group following the military ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

In its September 23 ruling, the court had also banned "any institution branching out from or belonging to the Brotherhood".

The Brotherhood is appealing that decision, with a court date scheduled later this month, so Tuesday's decision by the cabinet was an unexpected strike against the group.

The Brotherhood's NGO was registered in March, while Morsi was still in power. It was set up as one of the two main legal faces of the Islamist group, which was outlawed for most of its 85-year existence.

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