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Oct 22, 10:26 AM EDT

Bomb explodes outside university in Egypt capital

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Bomb explodes outside university in Egypt capital

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CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian security officials say a bomb has exploded outside Egypt's largest and most prominent university, injuring nine people including five policemen.

They say the makeshift bomb went off Wednesday following clashes between police and students protesting outside the sprawling campus.

One of the injured is a senior police officer and four are civilians, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Egyptian universities have seen regular protests since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the military last year. Clashes between students and police erupted again at the start of the school year earlier this month at several Egyptian universities.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

An Egyptian court Wednesday sentenced 12 alleged militants, including a U.S.-designated terrorist suspected of links to al-Qaida, to life in prison on charges of plotting attacks against police, military, foreign missions and ships passing through the strategic Suez Canal.

Judge Shabaan el-Shamy also sentenced 13 others to between seven and 15 years in prison, and acquitted one defendant. Reading the decision, el-Shamy said the defendants "took Islam as a cover they hide under to sow seeds of sedition and deception and justify their crimes."

Following the verdict the defendants broke out in chants of "God is great" and held aloft pictures of Osama bin Laden, and banners promoting the establishment of an "Islamic Caliphate" in Egypt.

The group of 26 defendants, known locally as "the Nasr City cell," included Muhammad Jamal el-Kashif, a 50-year-old militant, designated as a terrorist by the U.S. State Department and added to a U.N. sanctions list of individuals suspected of links to al-Qaida.

El-Kashif, arrested in 2012 in Egypt, is suspected of links to al-Qaida and is accused of setting up training camps for militants in Egypt and Libya. He was released from an Egyptian prison in 2011, following the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, when hundreds of militants who spent years in prisons were set free.

The U.S. State Department designated el-Kashif a terrorist in 2013, saying he had trained in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and returned to Egypt in the 1990s when an Islamic insurgency against Mubarak was peaking. He allegedly led a militant group at the time that launched attacks against authorities and was arrested a number of times. According to the U.S. designation, el-Kashif has developed links to various al-Qaida-related groups in the region, including in Yemen.

Following his release in 2011, el-Kashif established a network named after him, and set up training camps in Egypt and Libya, the U.N. said in its designation of him as an individual associated with al-Qaida and subject to sanctions. The U.N. said he is reported to have been involved in the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012 that killed the U.S. ambassador and other staff.

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