Cairo students demonstrated for the second day of street violence on Tuesday (25 January) as they protested President Sadat's policies.
Cairo students demonstrated for the second day of street violence on Tuesday (25 January) as they protested President Sadat's policies. The rioting started on Monday (24 January) after police forcibly ended a week-long sit-in at Cairo University and closed down the campus one day before the scheduled spring vacation wad due to start. Tuesday's violence broke out when riot police had driven some 2,000 students out of Cairo's Liberation Square. The students regrouped and running battles between police and stone-throwing youths followed.
SYNOPSIS: Security was backed up by a helicopter which assisted the square-clearing operation. The some 2,000 students regrouped in side streets around the square, determined to continue their protest.
The rioting had started on Monday after police forcibly ended a week-long sit-in at Cairo University and closed down the campus one day before the scheduled spring vacation was due to start. Students took to the streets in the wake of the incident and fought with police--and continued to do so on Tuesday. As students tried to move into the square, riot police charged, attempting to drive them back. As the action continued, a smoke bomb and stones were thrown.
At the same time as the disturbances were taking place, President Sadat as meeting with representatives from a number of national organisations--including student groups--to discuss the country's internal situation.
Cairo was quieter on Wednesday as Egypt celebrated a Moslem feast. But earlier, the students had wanted President Sadat to address them directly. They want him to spell out his plans for the confrontation with Israel, and they've said government policy is confusing and wavering. There've been a number of arrests in the two days of demonstrations. In addition, fifteen hundred were arrested in Monday's police raid on the Cairo University campus. President Sadat, who's blamed what he called "outside elements" for the protests, has announced that 30 students would go on trial.