Malaysian student in Egypt recalls bloody clashes

A plain clothes policeman (C) points his gun as security forces escort Muslim Brotherhood members through supporters of the interim government installed by the army.

PETALING JAYA - Malaysian student Mohd Syafiq Lokman Hakim will never forget the bloody clashes that took place just about 100m from his residence in Mansoura, Egypt.

The fifth-year medical student of Mansoura University said last Fri­day's clashes were the worst he had seen over the past five years in Man­soura, about 120km northeast of Cai­ro,

"I was watching from the balcony as hundreds of protesters gathered less then 100m from the Malaysian students' residence area here.

"All of a sudden, I heard screaming as the crowd scattered. The opposing group began throwing stones and randomly shooting at the crowd," said the 24-year-old from Segamat.

While it had become a weekly affair to see signs of trouble near where they lived, he said the incident still worried him and his housemates.

He added that the fifth-year students were still unsure of whether their final exams would be postponed.

The death toll in Cairo reportedly rose to more than 750 people since Wednesday, when 578 people were killed in nationwide clashes that erupted after police cleared two camps of Morsi loyalists in the capital.

The stand-off at Cairo's Al-Fath mosque in central Ramses Square began on Friday, when security forces surrounded the building where the supporters were using as shelter.

Syamsuddin Fa­­ruok, 24, said that the city he was staying in, Zagazig, was still considered safe.

The fifth-year medical student had just returned to Egypt from Ma­­laysia on Saturday after a month-long study break to prepare for his final exams on Aug 31.

"We have experienced being tear-gassed on the way back from the university but after two years here, even that has become quite normal.

"Otherwise, all is well as long as we stay indoors, stock up on food and keep ourselves updated online," said Syamsuddin.

Meanwhile, Education Malaysia Egypt has received confirmation from the Egyptian Deputy Education Minister that all repeat examinations scheduled this month have been postponed.

The statement released by the Edu­cation Ministry said that affected exa­minations will be announced soon, adding that it would take action on any university that does not comply with the directive.

Parents and students are advised to refer to the Education Ministry on the current status of education in Egypt by contacting 03-8870 6611 or egyptcrisis@mohe.gov.my.