Syrians urged to rally in support of students

Syrian anti-regime activists called for Friday protests under the slogan, "heroes of Aleppo University," in solidarity with students who demonstrated despite brutal repression against the university.

Students in the northern city demonstrated on campus demanding the fall of Bashar al-Assad's regime on Thursday as UN observers visited to oversee a ceasefire, largely ignored for a month, according to activists.

"Thousands of students from various faculties came out of their classes when the UN observers arrived and shouted slogans calling for the fall of the regime," activist Mohammed Halabi told AFP in Beirut.

They "also called for the arming of the [rebel] Syrian Free Army," he said in a telephone call.

A video released by activists shows a large number of students surrounding a UN-marked vehicle insulting Assad and chanting: "The people want the fall of the regime."

Another video shows youths sitting in the back of a vehicle driven by a UN observer and filming security forces members beating students brutally with truncheons.

Having taken the observer to witness the scene, the youths implored him to leave when a man in civilian clothes approaches the vehicle and blocks the view of the student filming.

"Let's go, let's go. They'll arrest us. We are under your protection," screams a girl at the observer in the video.

Repression persists in Syria despite a truce officially established on April 12 and the presence of more than 250 observers to monitor it.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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