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October 31, 2002

Lebanese police storm anti-Syrian student demo, injure 18

Oh, THAT occupation. I guess the university students have no pro-Israel folks to shout about.
Lebanese police storm anti-Syrian student demo, injure 18
BEIRUT (AFP) - Eighteen Lebanese students were injured near here and another 16 were in custody after riot police swept in to prevent hundreds of them from taking an anti-Syrian demonstration off a university campus and into the street, a student spokesman said.

The incident came as hundreds of students held sit-ins on campuses in and around Beirut against the Syrian military presence in their country and the closure of the opposition television channel, MTV.

Baton-wielding police attacked around 800 students at the science faculty of Lebanese University, in Fanar, who tried three times to move off campus to a waiting mass of dozens of police. They were joined by civil defense trucks firing water cannons.

"Eighteen students were hurt by baton blows, of whom three are still hospitalized -- two young women and a young man," said the spokesman on condition of anonymity.

The spokesman said police initially seized around 150 students at dozens of blockades at exits from the campus. By Thursday evening, he said, 16 were still in detention after being held for an hour or two.

Thursday's demonstrations were mainly by supporters of the former head of a military government, general Michel Aoun, and the banned Lebanese Forces party.

A separate demonstration took place within the precincts of Saint-Joseph University in Beirut.

Demonstrators chanted the rallying cry of anti-Syrian Christians: "Liberty, sovereignty, independence."