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Campus Protests In Egypt Turn Deadly

Backers of the Muslim Brotherhood set fire to campus buildings at a university in Cairo, according to Egyptian state TV.
Posted at 1:46 PM, Dec 28, 2013

Days after Egypt’s government designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, the group’s supporters have taken to the streets in protest.

Armed with Molotov cocktails, backers of the Brotherhood set fire to two campus buildings at a university in Cairo, according to Egyptian state TV. Riot police reportedly fired tear gas in return. (Via BBC

Al-Ahram reports at least one student was killed when the clashes broke out. 

It’s the latest in a string of violent protests between security forces and supporters of the group.

Earlier in the week, the military-installed interim government further tightened its grip when it formally labeled the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization — a designation some human rights groups called politically-motivated. (Via The Washington Post, Human Rights Watch

The move criminalizes membership in the group. Now, anyone caught attending a Brotherhood protest or providing financial support to it can be thrown in jail. (Via RT

Al Jazeera reports the government has even set up a hotline asking Egyptians to report any suspected Brotherhood activity.

For months, the Brotherhood has been protesting a government it considers illegitimate. This, after its leader — Egypt’s first democratically elected president — former President Mohammed Morsi, was ousted by the military back in July. (Via PBS)

Since then, thousands of the movement's supporters have been arrested and its leaders put on trial. (Via Jewish News One

Despite the growing police crackdown, the Muslim Brotherhood has vowed to keep up its protests. As one analyst told The Jerusalem Post: "If they admit defeat, they will disappear from the political scene. They have invested much effort and millions of dollars to reach their goal and gain power after more than 80 years."

The timing of this latest police clampdown, is noteworthy. Next month, Egypt will vote on a new constitution that puts more power in the hands of the military.

MATT BRADLEY: “Then people will go down and vote for a constitution that is really less of a political document, and more a blessing of the Muslim Brotherhood’s extinction.” (Via CNN

According to the country’s Interior Ministry, at least three people died in this weekend's clashes, and more than 260 have been arrested.