Last updated: 26 March, 2014

One killed as Egypt police and students clash

One person was killed and 14 wounded Wednesday when police and student supporters of Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi clashed at Cairo University, the health ministry said.

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas from the university’s main gate at students who were demonstrating against Monday’s sentencing of 529 Morsi supporters to death in the biggest such act in the country’s modern judicial history, an AFP correspondent reported.

The interior ministry said a law student from Al-Azhar Islamic University in the Nile Delta city of Tanta was killed in the clashes.

Elsewhere, 16 people were wounded in clashes between security forces and students of the Nile Delta university of Zaqaziq, state news agency MENA quoted the health ministry as saying.

The Anti-Coup Alliance, which supports Morsi, had called for protests on Wednesday against sentencing by a court in Minya, south of Cairo, of Morsi supporters for the murder and attempted murder of two policemen during riots on August 14.

Of the 529, only 153 are in custody. The rest were tried in absentia and will get a retrial if they turn themselves in.

Another 17 defendants were acquitted.

The court has also set April 28 for the verdict on some 700 other co-defendants.

Monday’s verdict triggered a global outcry as the sentences were handed down after just hearings.

The mass trial is part of a relentless crackdown on supporters of Morsi, Egypt’s first civilian and elected president, who was ousted by the army last July.

Since then, his supporters have staged near daily protests calling for his reinstatement. These protests have often descended into street clashes with security forces and sometimes opponents of Morsi.

Since July, a police crackdown on Islamists has killed more than 1,400 people in clashes, while thousands more, including most of the top leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, have been jailed.

Morsi himself currently faces three trials on various charges, including colluding with militant groups.

Student demonstrations have crippled higher education, delaying until this month a new university semester that should have begun in February.