News / Middle East

Anti-government Protesters Clash With Police in Cairo

A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after students stormed it on December 28, 2013.A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after students stormed it on December 28, 2013.
A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after students stormed it on December 28, 2013.
A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after students stormed it on December 28, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
Anti-government protesters, including supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, allegedly set fire to at least one building at Egypt's venerable Azhar University Saturday.

According to reports by Reuters news agency and state media,

Workers used fire extinguishers to douse a blaze inside an office at the Azhar University School of Commerce Saturday. The facade of the structure and at least half a dozen offices were gutted by fires that appeared to have been deliberately set.

​Police arrested at least 60 alleged Islamists after the fire.

The dean of the school of commerce tries to assure students that exams will go ahead as scheduled.

Witnesses, however, say the fires forced their cancellation at the school of commerce, although exams in other departments have continued.

Some students loyal to former President Mohamed Morsi have called for a boycott of exams this month at Azhar University and have frequently protested on the campus.

Saturday, police fired tear gas at protesters on the campus. An interior ministry spokesman told state TV that police were trying to prevent anyone from disrupting exams.  

He urges students to respect exam schedules and head directly to their assigned exam rooms. He stresses that police are trying to protect the exam process and maintain order.

The head of the Islamist Salafi Nour Party, Younes Makhnoun, told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV that the Muslim Brotherhood is “resorting to violence at the university level, because they have lost the support of the people and have few cards left to play.” His group no longer supports the Brotherhood.

Makhnoun accused the Brotherhood of trying "to scuttle the constitutional referendum because if there is a majority 'yes' vote, it will officially de-legitimize their own ousted government.”

Former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, who heads the committee that drafted the new constitution, urged young people Saturday to turn out for the referendum sheduled for January 14 and 15.

He tells them to vote in numbers to approve the constitution by the highest possible margin, so that the political transition can go ahead, allowing the election of a new president and parliament. This, he says, will allow Egypt to overcome the current conflict.

Egypt's army-installed interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist organization” this past week. That allows police to arrest its supporters participating in protests or those who finance operations of the group.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Dr. Francine F. from: USA
December 28, 2013 4:43 PM
I have been observing the Muslim and Islamic carnage in the Middle East for most of my adult life (I am 68 - with two sons who served in the Marines). and it seems to me that what we need in the Middle East is more like Israel... we (US) should not constrain Israel into these stupid confines of constricted borders... that will asure their destruction - but have them expand throughout the Middle East... as much as possible... here we have a nation of Laws, a nation of scholars, a nation of innovation in all fields of human endeavor, a nation whose scientists and engineers contribute enormously to the benefit of everybody in the world - and what do we do... we restrict it. WHY???
Obama is sending his stooge again... what for...?? what "peace"??? Arab (Islamic) depravity forbids them peace with anyone... just look what they do to each other...
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
December 28, 2013 6:46 PM
all terrorist organization are connected .whether in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt ,Afghanistan and Pakistan/ they have the same aim and pursuit the same goal. the west has dismantle all of them to save the world from their evil
In Response

by: Veronique Hussein from: Canada
December 28, 2013 6:11 PM
with all respect to you, i don't think this will ever work. You see, i lived for 5 years in Lebanon and you have no idea of the fear that is propagated by Islam. I had to pay "taxes" to Hezbullah, and you know what happened to people who did not pay or payed late or payed less than what was demanded from them..?? their children were kidnapped tortured, raped and mutilated. you just have no idea what it is to live your life under an Iranian terrorist organization...

by: ali baba from: new york
December 28, 2013 4:08 PM
The Egyptian Gov. has to take any necessary measure to protect the country and keep it safe. Muslim brotherhood is a terrorist organization. it is part of international terrorist organization and it is well organize . It is well finance. Muslim Brotherhood aim is seize the power again even the country is totally destroyed. They use the money to lure poor people to participate in their terrorism activities, they use woman to offer themselves For jihadist to improve the their morale. it is obvious that Muslim brotherhood Has no principle or manner

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs