Nova Scotia

CBU associate campus in Egypt closes after deadly protests

An Egyptian college associated with Cape Breton University has closed as turmoil and bloodshed engulf the country.

More than 600 dead in violent clashes

An Egyptian man reacts as firefighters battle flames at the Giza governorate buildings that were stormed and torched by angry supporters of Egypt's ousted president. Egypt faced a new phase of uncertainty on Thursday after the bloodiest day since its Arab Spring began, with hundreds of people reported killed and thousands injured as police smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president. Wednesday's raids touched off day-long street violence that prompted the military-backed interim leaders to impose a state of emergency and curfew, and drew widespread condemnation from the Muslim world and the West, including the United States. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

An Egyptian college affiliated with Cape Breton University has closed as turmoil and bloodshed engulf the country.

About 2,000 students attend the Canadian International College in New Cairo, which offers Cape Breton University courses.

Convocation ceremonies are scheduled for next week.

Keith Brown, Cape Breton University's vice-president of international affairs, said students are still on summer break, but he’s unsure when they’ll return to the school.  He also does not know when faculty from Sydney will travel to Cairo.  Staff usually goes five or six times a year for quality control, Brown said.

"That's the big question. The embassy is suggesting that Canadians should only be travelling to the country for essential business only. The situation really is changing there minute by minute on the ground.  So it's really hard to say what's going to happen in a week or so because it's very fluid at the moment in Cairo," he said.

The college's officials made the decision to close.

At least 638 people were killed and nearly 4,000 wounded after Wednesday's round of violence. The assault was sparked when riot police smashed two sit-ins in Cairo where ousted president Mohammed Morsi's supporters had been camped out for six weeks demanding his reinstatement.

The Egyptian government has authorized the use of deadly force against protesters targeting police and state institutions while the international community has urged both sides to show restraint.

Brown said there's a deep divide among Egyptians about who should govern the country.

"The country really is split almost 50/50. One group you'll talk to are strongly pro-Morsi and one group are strongly pro the military government at the moment. Seems to be at least to me anyone I've spoken to has very strong opinions one way or the other," he said.