Kenyon College student and American citizen Andrew Pochter was among at least eight people killed in clashes that erupted after demonstrations in Egypt, the college and the U.S. State Department said.
Pochter, 21, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was killed yesterday in Alexandria in fighting between opposition protestors and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, the Gambier, Ohio-based college said in a statement late yesterday, citing U.S. embassy officials. The U.S. State Department confirmed Pochter’s death in an e-mailed statement.
The State Department issued a travel warning urging American citizens to defer all but essential trips to Egypt. Some non-essential employees at the U.S. embassy in Egypt and their families were being allowed to leave the country until the unrest subsides, the department said in an e-mailed statement.
Pochter was in Egypt on an internship with AMIDEAST, according to Kenyon. AMIDEAST isn’t a Kenyon program, the college said. The New York Times reported today Pochter was teaching young children English while improving his own skills in Arabic, citing his family. His family said he’d planned to return to the Middle East for his spring semester, the newspaper reported.
The disturbances unfolded two days before hundreds of thousands of Egyptians plan to stage nationwide protests seeking Mursi’s resignation, in what may be the biggest challenge to the Islamist leader since he took office a year ago. Troops have been deployed in the capital of Cairo and other major cities ahead of tomorrow’s planned demonstrations.
The New York Times said Pochter was active in Hillel, Kenyon College’s center for Jewish life, and had lived at the center for some time.