Brutal response as Syrian children join protests

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The Independent Online

Students chanting for revolution marched after classes yesterday in a new tactic that brought a swift response from the Syrian security forces, who beat up or detained many of the young protesters.

Children as young as 10 have been taking to the streets since the new school year started this week, according to witnesses and online videos posted by activists. It appears to be the first major attempt to bring out Syria's schoolchildren to join the six-month uprising.

Girls chanting, "revolution is bright, the regime is dark", marched in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees, an activist group. Another student protest in the north-western village of Mhambal came under attack by security forces and gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. The troops beat some students and detained parents, the group said. Students also were detained in the southern village of Dael.

A video posted online by activists showed more than two dozen young students gathered in a street in the Damascus suburbs chanting, "the people want the President executed" and "we will only kneel to God".

On Wednesday, dozens of protesting students were detained in the southern village of Jassem. On the same day security forces surrounded several schools in the Damascus suburbs of Harasta, Arbeen and Zamalka, according to the LCC.