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BEIRUT -- Syria's Aleppo University on Thursday announced it was suspending classes after pro-government forces killed four students and arrested more than 200 in a campus raid during anti-regime protests.
In a message posted on its website, the northern city's university told students that classes were suspended until final exams on May 13.
"Students were barred from entering the campus and were told that the university dorms were shut down until further notice," Mohammed al-Halabi, an activist on the ground, told AFP via Skype.
Security forces had raided the dormitories on Thursday morning and had thrown out students and their belongings, he said, adding some of the rooms were torched.
The closure came after troops and armed supporters stormed an anti-regime protest on campus overnight, killing four students and arresting more than 200, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based watchdog also reported that 28 students were wounded, three of them critically.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Observatory, said the events in Aleppo could mark a turning point for Syria's second city and commercial powerhouse which has largely been spared the unrest shaking the country for nearly 14 months.
"The city of Aleppo hasn't joined the anti-regime revolt thus far but the seriousness of these events will push residents to mobilise in solidarity with the students," he told AFP.
"Security forces stormed the university in response to increased student protests lately inside and outside the campus," he added.
"The university suspended classes because neither the management nor the security forces seem able to control the situation."
Activists said the raid was carried out in response to daily anti-regime demonstrations at the university.
"Security forces stormed the campus in large numbers at night and opened fire during a large student demonstration calling for the fall of the regime," Halabi said.
In a video posted by activists on YouTube, heavy gunfire and screams are heard while dozens of men, identified as members of the security and intelligence services, are seen entering the campus.
The video could not be authenticated as Syrian authorities have restricted access to foreign media.
Several protests in solidarity with the Aleppo students broke out Thursday in various universities across the country, activists said.
Overall, more than 11,000 people have died in Syria since the revolt against the regime of Bashar al-Assad broke out in March last year, according to the Observatory.