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Hundreds of students arrested in Sudan

Activists said Sudanese police arrested and beat hundreds of students at Khartoum's main university Friday.

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Hundreds of members of Khartoum's student union wave national flags as they protest against the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) outside the Republican Palace in the Sudanese capital on September 5, 2011. (Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images)

Sudanese police raided dormitories at the University of Khartoum Friday, arresting hundreds of students, Reuters reported.

The university had been closed for two months following anti-government protests in late December. Still, several students remained on campus with nowhere else to go, Reuters said.

“Police wielding batons entered the student housing early on Friday morning, beating and detaining hundreds of those who had remained in the dormitories waiting for classes to resume,” Reuters said it was told by one witness.

"We were woken in our rooms by the voices and strikes of the police," the witness told Reuters.

Police arrested a total of about 400 students, Bloomberg reported. “Police cars cordoned off the university’s dormitory and closed all roads leading to the campus,” Ahmed Samir, a spokesman for Sudan Change Now, told Bloomberg.

A Sudanese police spokesman did not answer his mobile phone when called for comment, Bloomberg said.

While reports of mass protests in Sudan have been less widespread than those in countries including Egypt, Tunisia and Syria, inflation and other economic issues have sparked uprisings.

The students arrested Friday were eventually released, the Associated Press said. A statement released by Sudan Change Now, cited by the AP, said the students had been “brutally beaten and their properties destroyed in a haphazard manner.”

More from GlobalPost: Sudan leader held over Tunisia-style protest

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/africa/120217/sudan-students-arrested