A police officer fires tear gas during clashes with
students of Al-Azhar University. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Muslim Brotherhood supporters and police have clashed
across Egypt, leaving at least three dead in protests after the
army-backed government declared the group a terrorist
The violence broke out after Friday prayers and the health
ministry said 87 people were injured nationwide in the
clashes, which flared in Cairo and at least four other
An 18-year-old Brotherhood supporter was shot dead during
clashes in the Nile Delta city of Damietta. A second man was
killed in Minya, a bastion of Islamist support south of
Cairo, and a third person was killed in the capital, the
interior ministry said, without providing further details.
Security forces detained at least 265 Brotherhood supporters
nationwide, including at least 28 women, the ministry also
The widening crackdown has increased tensions in a country
suffering the worst internal strife of its modern history
since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in
Security forces have killed hundreds of his supporters and
lethal attacks on soldiers and police have become
The Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation after
16 people were killed in a suicide attack on a police station
on Tuesday, although the group condemned the attack and it
was claimed by a radical faction based in the Sinai
The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies had called for
protests in response to the government decision.
Police fired birdshot and tear gas at student protesters at
Al-Azhar's Cairo campus. Gunfire was heard in the Suez Canal
city of Ismailia, where demonstrators threw fireworks and
rocks at police who used teargas, a Reuters witness said.
A number of police officers were injured in the clashes, the
interior ministry said.
Some analysts say Egypt faces a protracted spell of attacks
by Islamist radicals as well as eruptions of civil strife.
A student supporter of the Brotherhood was killed late on
Thursday in what the interior ministry described as a melee
between supporters and opponents of the Brotherhood in Cairo.
On Friday, a furniture store was set on fire by residents of
a Cairo suburb after police stormed inside and arrested three
employees after receiving complaints that the men had
firearms and were Brotherhood members.
The government has said the violence will not derail a
political transition plan whose next step is a mid-January
referendum on a new constitution.
Officials have issued a new round of harsher warnings against
anyone taking part in protests in support of the Brotherhood,
saying they will be punished under anti-terrorism laws that
envisage five years imprisonment.
Jail terms for those convicted under the terrorism law can
stretch up to life imprisonment and Brotherhood leaders face
the death penalty.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign
Minister Nabil Fahmy on Thursday and "expressed concern"
about the terrorist designation of the Muslim Brotherhood and
recent detentions, the State Department said.
The Brotherhood, which won every election since Hosni Mubarak
was toppled in 2011, has been driven underground since the
army deposed the freely elected Mursi in July.
Thousands of Brotherhood members and supporters have since
been jailed. Mursi and other top leaders are also behind
bars. Despite the pressure, the Brotherhood has continued
near-daily protests against the Egyptian authorities.
In a statement condemning the government's freezing of the
funds of Islamist charity groups, the Brotherhood accused the
government of spreading Christianity by empowering Coptic
Christian charities over Islamic ones.