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Protests continue in Egypt

March 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM   |   Comments

CAIRO, March 23 (UPI) -- Protests against university leaders and the detention of an influential Islamist rocked parts of Egypt, demonstrators said Wednesday.

Witnesses said student demonstrators were protesting at leading institutions like Cairo University, calling on university administrators to step down, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.

Around 300 protesters gathered in front of the Defense Ministry to protest the arrest of Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the newspaper adds. He was temporarily released last week but was returned to custody. He was sentenced to life in prison in the United Arab Emirates on terrorism charges and extradited to Egypt in 1999. He is the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 man in al-Qaida.

Egyptians during the weekend passed a referendum on constitutional reforms that pave the way to parliamentary and presidential elections this year. Political reform was one of the demands of the reform movement during the revolution.

Protesters inspired by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia poured into the streets of Cairo calling for sweeping democratic change, forcing Hosni Mubarak to step down Feb. 11 after three decades in power.

A fire broke out Tuesday at the building housing the Egyptian Ministry of Interior as thousands of police demonstrated for higher wages, though it was unclear what led to the blaze. The same building was damaged by fire at the height of the February revolution.

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