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Afghan University Students Again Clash with Police


Police and university students clashed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, resulting in several injuries in the second day of violent protests. Student groups are in negotiations with the government in the hopes of calming the situation.

Afghan police used tear gas and water cannons on the protesting students as they tried to march on the residence of President Hamid Karzai.

After blocking the path of the students, police fired over their heads in an effort to push them back into their university compound in southwest Kabul.

The first violent clash late Monday resulted in at least one death as police opened fire on the crowd of angry students after being pelted by stones.

The total number of dead and wounded was unknown following the chaos in the destroyed section of Kabul where years of war have reduced most buildings to rubble.

The Kabul University students were demanding better living conditions and were angry that they had not received food in their dormitories for several days. They were also demanding the return of the bodies of their fellow students, who they said died Monday.

Student protestors on the university campus said that four people were killed in Monday's clash and that many others were injured.

Deputy Interior Minister, General Hilal, said only one student had died Monday and said others were armed and shouting slogans supporting Osama Bin Laden.

The latest demonstration came as President Karzai was leaving Kabul for New York where he is to receive an award for promoting freedom from a U.S. based aid agency.

Government officials said Mr. Karzai was informed of the violence and was proceeding with his travel plans.

Most of Kabul's residents are happy to be free of the hardline Taliban government, but many people have grown frustrated with the slow pace of change nearly one year after the fighting ended in the capital.

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