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3 killed, 265 arrested in clashes during pro-Morsi protests

At least three people have been killed nationwide in clashes between supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and their opponents, the Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The statement said that the police arrested 265 people affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which the ousted president hails from and was declared Wednesday by the government as "a terrorist group."

The statement added that the three victims died respectively in the governorates of Cairo, Damietta and Minya, and that three police vehicles have been torched.

12 people, including four policemen, were injured during the clashes across the country, Khaled al-Khatib, head of the Health Ministry's Emergency Central Administration, stated Friday.

Tension escalated between security forces and supporters of the ousted Islamist leader, who took to the streets on Friday to express condemnation of the interim government's recent decision to blacklist the Brotherhood.

The arrests of Brotherhood affiliates were based on Article 86 of the Penal Code, which stipulates five years' term for participants in protests organized by "a terrorist group." The perpetrators' punishment may go up to execution or life imprisonment "if terrorism is one of the means used to achieve or carry out the purposes of the group," according to the law.

The arrested protesters have been accused of stirring up riots and blocking roads.

Meanwhile, similar protests have been staged around Al-Azhar University dormitory in Cairo where the police fired tear gas and used water canons to disperse pro-Morsi students who pelted the forces with stones.

Islamists also took to the streets in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia, Nile Delta's Damietta, Upper Egypt's Minya and Fayoum.

[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 27Dec13]

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Crisis in Egypt
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