Fifty injured in attack on Saudi student protest: report

Published Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Over 50 female Saudi students were injured when security guards and Saudi police attacked a peaceful protest in a university, a local newspaper has claimed.

The 1,000-strong all-women protest, which was calling for an end to corruption and ill-treatment at the King Khaled University (KKU) in Abha, was attacked on Wednesday by security services wielding batons, the Al Watan newspaper said.

The students had begun a protest on Tuesday to criticize the university management for allowing the campus to deteriorate and against ongoing corruption in the country.

Security forces stormed the campus on Wednesday and attacked the protesters with batons, fire extinguishers, and water hoses, activists said.

Activists criticized the attack on Twitter and other social networks, with some proposing the hashtag #BlackDeath after the violence. Another said it was the first time she was proud of being an KKU student.

The university said it had launched a probe into the attack and said it was committed to the safety of all students.

"The situation evolved and chaos spread along with damage to public property and the use of fire extinguishers and water hoses against the other female students," a statement from the university said.

"Some lost consciousness and had to be taken away for medical assistance, and the university and the relevant authorities took the necessary security measures, until the complex was completely evacuated."

"The university will explore all the factors that led to the situation and deal with them, in the interest of public safety," it added.

KKU is a public university in Asir, in the southwest of the country.

(Al-Akhbar)

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