Students 'killed' after troops storm university campus - Middle East - World - The Independent

Students 'killed' after troops storm university campus

 

Beirut

Hundreds of students protested in Syria's northern city of Aleppo yesterday after President Bashar al-Assad's security forces stormed the university, allegedly using live ammunition against students and slinging their belongings out of windows during a rampage that left part of the campus in flames.

The raid left at least four students dead and scores were arrested, according to activists, who said the attack lasted into the early hours of yesterday morning and followed a large anti-government rally which drew 1,500 demonstrators. At least 20 more students were reportedly arrested yesterday as they continued to hold protests.

"Most of the students were back in their dormitories when the security forces came in but others ran there for safety. The security forces were armed with machine guns and rifles and (were) shooting at them," said Abdurrahaman Abu Huthaifa, an activist with the Syrian Revolution Co-ordinators Union in Aleppo. "There was panic, students tried to use desks and tables to barricade themselves in but the shabbiha [government militias] broke them down. We had desperate calls and text messages from people inside saying they were in need of medical supplies."

Videos posted online showed the aftermath of the attack, with shattered glass on the floor and a man trying to douse smouldering flames with a bucket of water. The university announced it will be closed for at least 10 days.

Mr Huthaifa said it was difficult to verify the number killed as the security forces had taken many of the seriously injured, and possibly some of the bodies, with them when they left the campus. The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) put the number at five, with 200 arrested, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four had died.

Aleppo, Syria's most populous city and home to a large population of Alawites – the minority sect to which the ruling Assad family belong – has not seen such widespread protests as in the opposition bastions of Hama and Homs to the south, but the university has been the site of frequent demonstrations.

The raid came after what is thought to have been the heaviest day of casualties for the Syrian army so far during the 13-month long uprising. At least 20 troops were reportedly killed by rebels on Wednesday, including 15 in an ambush in Aleppo.

The continued ceasefire violations come despite the presence of UN monitors in the country.

The head of the UN team of observers, Major General Robert Mood, visited Homs and Hama where he said there is still "a good chance and an opportunity" to break the cycle of violence. However the LCC said that gunfire and shells continued in the devastated city of Homs, killing eight, even as the observers visited.

The continued bloodshed and the slow pace of UN deployment has reduced hopes for the monitoring mission. Just 24 of the 30 member advance team were in the country on Wednesday.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week