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Four pupils arrested over attacks on Turkish Cypriots (Update 2)

Police on Wednesday arrested four pupils in connection with attacks against Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia on Monday.

Two of the suspects are twin brothers, 18, police said. The other two are aged 16 and 17.

The four were arrested on Wednesday afternoon.

The incidents happened between 11am and 1pm on Monday as pupils took to the streets to protest the unilateral declaration of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state. Two Turkish Cypriots sustained light injuries.

Police said the four were arrested in connection with assault causing actual bodily harm, malicious damage, disturbing the peace, incitement to hate and violence, racism, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanour.

Reports said they had been identified in footage from security cameras collected by investigators.

The investigation continues.

One incident one took place on the junction known as the Milano traffic lights in Engomi.

Pupils attacked a car with Turkish Cypriot plates but the driver escaped uninjured.

Another incident took place nearby on Hytron Street, near the Nicosia district office.

A father and a son were attacked inside their car by a group of pupils throwing stones. The father was injured and the car was damaged police said.

A third attack took place on Grivas Dighenis Avenue. A Turkish Cypriot suffered injury to the eye.

Earlier on Wednesday, pupils and the education minister condemned the attacks, which they said were an affront to society.

Costas Kadis and the pupil co-ordinating committee (PSEM) held a meeting to discuss Monday’s events and ways to avoid such behaviour in the future.

“It is the common position of the ministry and PSEM that these events offend society and the education system because of the involvement of pupils, and yield the exact opposite result from what organised pupil protests seek,” Kadis said.

The minister said they discussed ideas on how to avoid such incidents in the future but did not make any announcements since these matters would be discussed further.

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