Egypt: Three killed in pro-Brotherhood rallies

Protests erupted a day after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group

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At least three were killed and 265 pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters were arrested on Friday after country-wide demonstrations in Egypt, according to the interior ministry.

Security forces fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters in several Egyptian cities, in an attempt to quell demonstrations after the end of midday Friday prayers, the usual time for demonstrations from pro-Brotherhood groups.

The protests came amid a tightening of security in the capital after the Muslim Brotherhood and its allied groups renewed calls for mass rallies against the interim military-backed government - two days after Cairo declared the Brotherhood movement, from which ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi hails, a terrorist group.

Anti-riot police chased student protesters demonstrating against security forces at the Islamic al-Azhar University in the capital, while footage aired on private TV networks showed students hurling stones and setting fire to tree branches to defuse tear gas.

Police also clashed with protesters in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, while state media reported that police fired tear gas at other demonstraters in Cairo, according to Agence France-Presse.

The interior ministry said a man was killed the night before in clashes around al-Azhar University between Islamist students and civilians who oppose them.

Since Mursi’s ouster, the Brotherhood and its allies have held constant protests demanding his reinstatement and denouncing the interim government.

The government’s labeling of the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization means that any participants in rallies in support of the group will be sentenced to five years in prison, while the group leaders could face the death penalty under anti-terror laws, a security spokesman said, according to the Associated Press.

The terror designation came after a suicide bombing of a police building that killed 15 people.

The government blamed the Brotherhood for the attack despite a Sinai-based jihadist group claiming responsibility.

(With the Associated Press and AFP)

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