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Student Killed In Clashes At Egyptian University

An Egyptian student is dead Saturday after clashes between police and Muslim Brotherhood supporters at the country's main Islamic university.

Egyptian media reported that the violence erupted when security forces fired tear gas to disperse pro-Brotherhood students who were trying to prevent classmates from getting into buildings at the famed Al-Azhar university. Some of the buildings were set on fire. Police said 101 people were arrested.

The BBC reports:

"The campus fires had been brought under control by Saturday afternoon, but exams at the business faculty reportedly had to be postponed.

"The Brotherhood said police were 'fabricating' the charges."

Egypt's military-backed government began a crackdown on the organization after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in July. Morsi derived much of his support from the Brotherhood. As NPR's Scott Neuman reported Friday, security forces carried out widespread arrests of Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group a terrorist organization.

The Brotherhood rejects the label and has vowed to continue its protests against the government.

The dead student was identified as Khaled el-Haddad, The Associated Press reported. Here's more from the AP:

"The government is intensifying its crackdown on the Brotherhood and Morsi supporters ahead of a Jan. 14-15 constitutional referendum they see as a milestone in the transition plan. Authorities fear Morsi supporters would seek to derail the key vote, through protests or by violent means.

"They have accused the Brotherhood of orchestrating a series of attacks by Sinai militants against troops to destabilize the transition — but have provided little evidence to prove the connection. It was the main justification for the authorities labeling the group a terrorist one."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.