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Some 500 Syrian students demonstrated Wednesday in the second-largest city of Aleppo for the first time since a wave of pro-reform protests broke out in mid-March, an activist said.

Security forces and students clashed at the protest on the campus of Aleppo’s faculty of literature and police arrested at least four students, said Radif Mustafa, the president of the Kurdish Committee for Human Rights.

“Security forces dispersed by force a protest by students calling for freedom,” he told AFP by telephone. “The security forces clashed with the students and four students were arrested,” said Mustafa.

Around 500 students took part in the demonstration and also “expressed solidarity with the victims of Daraa and Banias”, flashpoint protest towns in southern and northern Syria respectively, he said.

Protests for reforms broke out in Syria on March 15 and have gripped many cities and towns across the country, where some 30 people were killed in a crackdown by security forces on the weekend namely in Daraa and Banias. ahram

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