Al-Azhar students protest, attempt to assault university head
Osama el-Abd - YOUM7/Ahmed Maarouf

CAIRO: Students attempted to assault the head of Al-Azhar University Osama el-Abd on Sunday at the university.

The students tried to assault him as he came out from the Saleh Kamel Center for Islamic Economy where he was attending a PhD dissertation.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the students,  who set fire to two vehicles in front of the center, and arrested eight, Youm7 reported.

Dozens of students at Al-Azhar University assembled Sunday morning at the faculties of Commerce and Islamic studies to march around the campus, demanding the release of the detained students and the return of their dismissed colleagues.

They chanted against the police, military and the university administration and raised the four-finger sign, representing the violent dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in in August last year.

Meanwhile, security forces entered the campus of Al-Azhar University’s branch in Sharqia to control demonstrations, after female students attempted to storm the office of the dean of Faculty of Islamic Studies.

The spokesperson of Al-Azhar University Ahmed Zaraa said around 62 students were referred to the disciplinary council since the beginning of the second semester, after being accused of spreading chaos and sabotaging university buildings, according to Al-Ahram Newspaper.

Since the beginning of the academic year in September, protests against the military-backed government and the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi erupted in several major universities, often leading to violent confrontation with security forces.

Additional reporting by Ismael Rafaat and Nada Seleem.

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