Cairo - Egypt's interim rulers gave police on Thursday the
power to enter university campuses to quell protests without seeking prior
permission, after a student was killed in clashes.
Students who support the new military-installed authorities
and those who oppose it have clashed regularly in Cairo and elsewhere since the
army ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on 3 July.
The military-installed cabinet said police may now enter
campuses "without seeking permissions in case of threats and to confront
protests that could harm students".
Previously, police had to obtain permission from the
prosecutor general or university authorities before entering campuses or
dormitories to deal with demonstrators or fighting.
Thursday's move came after a student was killed overnight at
an Al-Azhar University dorm in Cairo's Nasr City district, a security official
and a medic said.
The student had been hit by birdshot in the chest and neck.
The clashes were between supporters and opponents of the new
army-installed authorities, security officials said, adding that groups of
students also confronted each other at Cairo University on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a court in the capital sentenced 38 Al-Azhar
University students to 18 months in prison for "participating in
violence" at the campus in October, state new agency MENA reported.
The authorities are engaged in a crackdown on Morsi's
Islamist supporters in which more than 1 000 people have been killed since the
middle of August and thousands more arrested.
Among initiatives announced by the cabinet on Thursday was
boosting the powers of the police and military to help fight "terrorism".
Islamist militants have stepped up attacks in the restive
Sinai since Morsi's ouster and have also targeted security forces outside the
On Wednesday, a car bomb in the Sinai killed 11 soldiers and
wounded 34, and another blast in Cairo wounded four policemen.
The Sinai attack was the deadliest in the region bordering
Gaza and Israel since an August 19 ambush on a security convoy killed 25 police
in the north Sinai town of Rafah.
And on Thursday, a police officer was shot dead north of
Cairo while on a mission to arrest militants suspected of assassinating a
senior security official on Sunday.
Captain Ahmed Samer Mahmoud was killed at dawn in an
operation in the Nile Delta town of Qulubiya when a special forces team
exchanged fire with militants, the interior ministry said.
The team was chasing "terrorist elements" wanted
for Sunday's murder of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Mabruk, it said.
Failed assassination attempt
Mabruk, an officer involved in the crackdown against
Islamists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood to which Morsi belonged was
shot dead in Cairo.
A Sinai-based group linked to al-Qaeda, Ansar Beit
al-Maqdis, said its militants had killed him.
The group had previously claimed it bombed the interior
minister's convoy in a failed assassination attempt in September.
Also on Thursday a police officer was shot dead while on
patrol in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya, security officials said, adding that
one of the two assailants had been arrested.
The cabinet also said it has decided to review recent
citizenship offered to non-Egyptians, referring mainly to the nearly three
years since long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak quit in February 2011.
The media has reported that Morsi's government had stepped
up efforts to grant Egyptian nationality to Palestinians staying in the