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Student protester gets punched in the face by Chilean riot police officer in Santiago

Victor Ruiz Caballero / Reuters

A riot police officer punches a student during a protest against the government and the public state education system at Santiago city Sept. 29, 2011. Chilean students are demanding for free and better state education, as well as for an end to profit-making in the public state education system.

AFP: SANTIAGO - Student protesters clashed with police here yesterday, just two days after student leaders agreed to open talks with the government on education reforms.

Carlos Vera / Reuters

A demonstrator runs away from tear gas during a protest against the government and the public education system at Santiago city Sept.29, 2011.

Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to try to disperse the protesters, who responded by attacking security forces with sticks and rocks, scenes broadcast on Chilean television showed.

Tear gas wafted into private homes and office buildings in the area, briefly causing panic among residents around a park where the clashes occurred.

Felipe Trueba / EPA

Demonstrators clash with the Police after a rally summoned by students in Santiago, Chile, Sept. 29, 2011.

The demonstration had begun peacefully in front of the University of Santiago, but turned violent near a park south of the Chilean capital, outside an area that authorities had approved for the march.

Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

Riot policemen are covered by tear gas as they clash with demonstrators during a rally to protest against the government and the public state education system in Santiago city Sept. 29, 2011.

Classes have been on hold in many schools and universities during the long-running demonstrations, which routinely drew tens of thousands of students into the streets, representing the largest protest movement in Chile since General Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship ended in 1990.

Claudio Santana / AFP - Getty Images

Chilean students clash with riot police during a demonstration in Santiago on Sept. 29, 2011

Chile's main student federation on Tuesday agreed to talks with the government of President Sebastian Pinera on education reforms after nearly five months of demonstrations.

Claudio Santana / AFP - Getty Images

Chilean students clash with riot police during a demonstration in Santiago on Sept. 29, 2011

But student leaders had said they would be calling for no classes to be held while the talks are ongoing, to maintain pressure on the government.