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Three dead, hundreds arrested as Islamists and police clash in Cairo

Three people are dead and at least 265 Muslim Brotherhood supporters arrested as clashes erupted across Egypt. The violence comes two days after the pro-Islamist party was blacklisted as a terrorist organization.

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Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with police

Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Friday that three people had been killed across the country, saying "Brotherhood actions caused the deaths of three citizens when they clashed with residents," in a statement.

The deaths come amid clashes between security forces and supporters of the country's ousted President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood on Friday (27.12.2013).

The ministry said an 18-year-old Brotherhood supporter was shot dead in the Nile Delta city of Damietta, while another was killed in Minya, south of Cairo. A third person was killed in Cairo.

Violent protests erupted in several areas across the capital as the Muslim Brotherhood announced protests in defiance of the military-backed government's call to label them a terrorist organization.

Student protestors chanting against the military clashed with anti-riot police at the Islamic Al-Ayhar University. Private television networks showed students throwing stones and burning tree branches to defuse tear gas smoke.

The Interior Ministry also said that 265 pro-Morsi supporters had been arrested across different provinces. That figure includes a number of women.

The night before, one student was killed when Morsi supporters clashed with locals in Cairo, the interior ministry said on Friday morning.

In a statement, the ministry added that seven supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood had been arrested after police fired tear gas at protesters.

Violence escalated late on Thursday night when Morsi's supporters blocked a main roadway outside their university in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City. That angered local residents, state television reported, citing a police spokesperson.

Both sides exchanged birdshot gunfire, causing fatal wounds to the student, the police official added.

More protests to come

Supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood vowed earlier on Friday to continue protesting, despite the government declaring the organization a terrorist group.

An off-shoot of the Brotherhood called for massive street protests, dubbed "a week of rage," starting after midday Friday prayers to protest the government's decision.

"Let's begin with full force and peacefulness, a new wave of majestic anti-coup action," the Brotherhood-led Anti Coup Alliance said in a statement.

Egyptian law states that terrorist-related charges carry the death penalty.

Thursday's protests came hours after a bomb blew up a bus in northern Cairo. Five people were wounded, prompting condemnation from US Secretary of State John Kerry.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Kerry "expressed concern" that the Muslim Brotherhood had been declared a terrorist organization in a call with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy.

Hundreds of people have been killed across Egypt since July when Morsi, the country's first ever democratically-elected president, was ousted by the army.

jlw/jr (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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