Pro-Morsi university students fight police in capital, hours after Sinai bombing kills 11 off duty officers
(SOURCE) One person was killed and several were arrested as deadly clashes broke out in restive Cairo for a second night in a row late Wednesday.
Police and pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo’s Al-Azhar University fought after students attempted to block the main street outside campus.
The al-Ahram news outlet reported the student was hit in the head by birdshot, after police were called in to quell the protests. Five students were arrested and security forces were pelted with bricks, the website said.
A day earlier, protesters marked the two-year anniversary of a six-day battle between anti-government demonstrators and security forces that left 41 people dead in 2011.
One person was killed and 51 injured during Tuesday’s clashes near Tahrir Square between forces and protesters opposed to both the military and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tensions have risen in an already jittery Egypt over the last several days amid a crackdown of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, a shakeup in the Interior Ministry’s security brass, and the controversial installation of a memorial to slain protesters in Tahrir square nearly two years after longstanding president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.
The Brotherhood has led protests demanding the reinstatement of former president Mohammed Morsi, who was thrown from power in a coup on July 3, though their rallies have dwindled under the weight of a fierce crackdown by security forces that has killed hundreds of Morsi supporters.
In the northern Sinai earlier in the day, a suicide car bomb hit a bus convoy of off-duty Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 11 and wounding 37, in the latest of a stepped-up wave of attacks blamed on Islamic militants sympathetic to Morsi.
The mounting insurgency in the restive Sinai has sent security and intelligence agencies scrambling for new tactics to thwart future attacks and protect themselves amid signs of the violence creeping into other parts of Egypt, particularly the capital, Cairo.
Among the attacks that have raised alarm was the killing of a senior security officer who monitors Islamist groups, gunned down in his Cairo neighborhood Sunday night.
At dawn Wednesday, assailants threw a grenade at a police checkpoint in a northern Cairo suburb, injuring four policemen, according to security officials said. The assailants fled the scene, said the officials.
The violence has prompted a shakeup within security agencies’ ranks, including a hunt for possible Islamist “moles” amid officials’ suspicions that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood is linked to the violence — an accusation the group denies.