Snow in Cairo

Students protest in Cairo and across Egypt

Cairo has had its first snow in 112 years, blanketing the city's suburbs as well as some of its most famous sites such as the Sphinx in Giza south-west of the capital.

The rare snowfall, which has affected the entire region including Israel and Lebanon, comes as protests gather momentum across Egypt for the release of recently detained student protestors.

Security forces fired tear gas at hundreds of Islamist demonstrators on 13 December, killing one person south of Cairo and another in the port city of Suez.

The protests are being oranised mainly by university students in response to the interim government's crackdown on Islamists, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood party, since the military-backed ousting of president Mohammed Morsi in July.

Since the beginning of the academic year in September protests have increased and become more confrontational.

Student demonstrators on 13 December were joined by supporters of the pro-Morsi Islamist alliance known as the Pro-Legitimacy and Anti-Coup Coalition.

The interim government issued a law In November banning protests taking place near or originating from places of worship and making it compulsory to get permission to demonstrate from the interior ministry.

Since the introduction of the new protest laws police have arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood protesters and other liberal activists for demonstrating without permission.