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Belarus: More than 100,000 protest as 'masked snatch squads pull students into vans'

More than 100,000 people are thought to have taken part in a protest in Minsk against the president of Belarus - amid reports that masked "snatch squads" have been detaining some student demonstrators.

Protesters were bundled into vans for taking part in fresh unsanctioned rallies against leader Alexander Lukashenko on the fourth weekend since his disputed re-election in August.

Around 30 students were dragged off the streets by snatch squads on Saturday, Russian news agency TASS reported, citing Minsk police, with further protesters believed to have been detained by the masked agents on Sunday.

The interior ministry of Belarus said 91 people in total were detained on Saturday. At least 100 protesters have been detained across the country on Sunday, Russia's Interfax news agency reports, citing the ministry.

Protests have taken place over several days.

Draped in red-and-white opposition flags, students staged demonstrations in several locations across the capital, including outside the Minsk State Linguistic Institute, where police arrested five people on Friday, local media footage showed.

It was on Saturday that masked men dragged away protesting students who had gathered at a restaurant in Karl Marx Street in the centre of Minsk - prompting thousands of women to later hold a separate march through the city in the afternoon, shouting "hands off the children" as one of their slogans.