A man stands outside a burning faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed it on December 28, 2013
A man stands outside a faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed it and set it ablaze on December 28, 2013, security officials said © Khaled Kamel - AFP
A man stands outside a burning faculty building at Cairo's Al-Azhar University after student supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood stormed it on December 28, 2013
Last updated: December 28, 2013

Islamist students torch building at Cairo campus

A student was killed and 101 arrested as police clashed with students who set fire to a Cairo university building Saturday amid an intensifying crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, officials said.

The unrest followed nationwide repression of Islamist protests on Friday after the military-installed government designated the Brotherhood, the movement of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, as a terrorist organisation.

A hospital official said a 19-year-old student was shot dead in the clashes at the Al-Azhar University campus, where pro-Morsi students have regularly staged protests since his overthrow by the army in July.

The students entered the commerce faculty during an exam and set it alight, before police burst into the campus and fired tear gas.

A police official said 101 students were arrested after the fire on the first two floors of the building was brought under control.

The violence comes a day after five people were killed in clashes across the country, according to a health ministry tally on Saturday, as police stamped out Brotherhood demonstrations.

The interior ministry said 265 protesters were arrested.

Police also fired tear gas at students in Zagazig university north of Cairo on Saturday, security officials said. Fourteen were wounded in the Zaqaziq and Cairo clashes, the health ministry said.

Elsewhere in Cairo, police said they defused a bomb found on a bus days after four people were wounded when an explosive device went off next to another bus.

The interim government has banned protests by Brotherhood members demanding Morsi's reinstatement, after listing it as a terrorist group this week.

The designation carries harsh penalties for offenders, with Brotherhood leaders facing possible death sentences and protesters looking at up to five years in prison.

The movement has held near-daily protests since the military ousted Morsi on July 3, despite a crackdown that has killed more than 1,000 people, mainly Islamists, and imprisoned thousands.

It was listed as a terrorist group in a drastic escalation of the months-long crackdown after a suicide bombing killed 15 people in a police headquarters north of Cairo on Tuesday.

The bombing was claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired group that has led attacks on the military and police and in the restive Sinai Peninsula, and was denounced by the Brotherhood.

Five people were also wounded in a bombing that targeted a bus in Cairo on Thursday.

On Friday, the Islamist movement, which had dominated elections following the overthrow of strongman Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, said it would remain committed to peaceful protests.

"The Muslim Brotherhood declares it is innocent of any violent incident that has (been) or will be committed," it said in a statement.

The government has decapitated the 85-year-old movement since Morsi's overthrow, imprisoning him and most of the movement's leadership and putting them on trial.

It has also sought to quell a surge in attacks in the Sinai that has killed more than 100 soldiers and policemen, as bombings and shootings spill over into mainland Egypt.

Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the group that claimed responsibility for Tuesday's police HQ attack, had tried to assassinate Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in a suicide car bombing outside his home in Cairo in September.

The militant group has criticised the Brotherhood for its style of electoral politics, but authorities say the Brotherhood has links with militant groups, without offering proof.

Morsi and Brotherhood leaders face trial for allegedly colluding with militants to launch attacks.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, ruled for just one turbulent year before the military overthrew him following mass protests demanding his resignation.

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