Protests over missing students turn violent in Mexico

Mexico City: Protests over the abduction and apparent killing of 43 students in Mexico turned violent Thursday, as protesters blocked roads and hurled crude bombs at the police.

The protests happened on a day when Mexico marked the 104th anniversary of the 1910 revolution.

The most significant confrontation took place in Mexico City, where some 200 hooded protesters battled the police in an attempt to reach the capital's international airport and shut it down.

Repulsed by police personnel in full riot gear, the protesters retreated to a city square.

Youths smashed shop windows and set off homemade bombs in San Cristobal de las Casas in the southern state of Chiapas.

Authorities in the southwestern state of Guerrero, scene of the Sep 26 abduction of the students, saw more than 2,000 people temporarily shut down a stretch of the expressway that links Mexico City with the Pacific resort of Acapulco.

In the northern state of Chihuahua, bordering the US state of Texas, around 300 students and teachers held a protest.

The largest university in Guadalajara suspended classes Thursday in a show of solidarity with the missing students.

On Sep 26, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Normal School, a teacher's college, went missing in Iguala, in the state of Guerrero.

According to official reports, they had travelled to Iguala to protest against what they considered to be discriminatory hiring and funding practices by the Mexican government.

They were however, intercepted by the police and a confrontation ensued.

Details of what happened during and after the clash remain unclear, but the official investigation concluded that once the students were in custody, they were handed over to the local Guerreros Unidos ("United Warriors") crime syndicate and presumably killed.

But the parents of the missing students have said that they would not accept that explanation without solid proof.

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