SYRIA FORCES STORM STUDENT DORMS, 4 KILLED - ACTIVISTS
- Syrian security forces stormed student dorms at a northwestern university to break up anti-government protests there, killing at least four students and wounding several others with tear gas and live ammunition, activists and opposition groups said Thursday, May 3, according to AP.
Around 1,500 students had been protesting in student quarters next to Aleppo University's main campus late Wednesday when security forces and pro-regime gunmen swept into their residences, firing tear gas at first, then live ammunition to disperse them.
Student activist Thaer al-Ahmed said panic and chaos ensued as students tried to flee.
Raids and intermittent gunfire continued for about five hours through early Thursday, he said, adding that dozens of people were wounded, some critically, and around 50 students were arrested.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city and economic hub, has a population that has remained largely loyal to President Bashar Assad and has been largely spared from the violence that has plagued other Syrian cities.
But university students have been staging almost daily protests calling for the fall of Assad's regime. Al-Thaer, a law student, said the campus and dormitories have been raided before, but Thursday's raid was the most violent.
The Local Coordination Committees activist group said five students were killed and some 200 arrested in the raids, while the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at four. The Syrian government has prevented independent reporting in the country, making it impossible to independently verify casualty figures.
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- 1905 Birth of Vardan Achemyan (theater director). He died in 1977.
- 1957 Death of academician and armenologist Greegor Ghapantsyan.
- 1997 Lebanon's Assembly adopts a declaration to the effect that every April 24 will be a day of solidarity with the Armenian people to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.
- 1998 Ceremonial transfer of the remains of Serob Aghbyur's spouse and the national hero Sosseh Mayrik (Sosseh Vardanyan) from Alexandria (Egypt) to Armenia.