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Thursday, 3 February, 2000, 00:14 GMT
Striking students riot in Mexico

Students and police Police arrested about 250 students


Striking students have demanded the release of about 250 supporters arrested during violent clashes with police.

More than 30 people were injured in the fighting and one person was reportedly killed, although the government has denied any fatalities.

The clashes on Tuesday have also put in doubt planned talks between the government and student leaders to end the strike.


police line Supporters call for the release of arrested students
The students have been on strike for nine months in a protest over tuition fee rises and who should control the affairs of the National Autonomous University - Mexico's largest university.

They have occupied university grounds in a campaign that has disrupted the classes for more than 250,000 students.

Fighting broke out at Justo Sierra school, which is affiliated with the university, when non-striking students forced their way onto the campus to take control of the site.

But reinforcements for the strikers arrived and regained the school. During the violence police arrested about 250 students and one security guard was reported to have died.

Government blamed

Relatives of those arrested joined strikers gathered inside the university on Wednesday to call for their release.

They said the government had sparked the skirmish.

Interior Minister Diodoro Carrasco said that the university authorities requested help from the federal police after striking students attacked university staff and non-striking students.

It was the first time that police had taken direct action in the conflict since students first went on strike last April.

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