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IU Student Questioned For Throwing Bomb In Egyptian Protest

An IU student has been detained in Cairo, Egypt, where violent protests have been taking place for several days.

Egypt protests

Photo: Rowan El Shimi (Flickr)

Egyptians have been protesting in Cairo's Tahrir square over the way the military has been handling its power since President Hosni Mubarak's ousting earlier this year.

Updated Tuesday, 3:17 p.m., 4:57 p.m., 5:57 p.m.

An Indiana University student is one of three students that have been detained in Cairo, Egypt, on charges of throwing Molotov cocktails at Egyptian officials in Tahrir Square, where violent protests have been going on for several days, according to the American University in Cairo.

Morgan Roth, North American director of communications for the American University in Cairo, says IU student Luke Gates, who is enrolled in a semester-long program at the American University in Cairo, was taken to a courthouse facility for questioning.

Roth says the students were the students were questioned after being moved from their original location because of threats of protest on the prosecutor’s office.

An IU counselor was dispatch to meet Gates, and the U.S. Embassy has also sent two of its officers to act on behalf of the students. A U.S. Embassy official was present at the questioning and nothing more was announced after it concluded.

“Our goal right now is to stay on top of what is happening, be able to have absolutely clarity on what the situation is, what the charges are and what we need to do to make sure that we are able to monitor the whereabouts and the well being of the students as this plays out,” Roth says.

In a written statement IU says it is in close contact with Gates’ family as well as the U.S. embassy and the American University in Cairo.

“Indiana University expresses its deep concern for the safety of Luke Gates, as well as for the safety of the other two students who have been detained in Egypt,” IU says. “U.S. embassy officials are actively engaged with appropriate Egyptian officials to assist the student.”

Two other IU students currently in Egypt are not involved in this situation. IU says it is in contact with these students and will continue to monitor the situation.

Roth says this is the first incident where American University in Cairo students, who are U.S. citizens, have been detained during Egypt’s protests.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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