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Quebec moves to restore order as striking students clash with police

Rogerio Barbosa / AFP - Getty Images

A student protester in a panda suit confronts a policeman in downtown Montreal on May 17, 2012. The students are striking over a planned tuition hike of 82 percent or over $1,700 as part of the government's efforts to rein in a budget deficit.

Reuters reports — Quebec's government moved late on Wednesday to end a sometimes violent 14-week mass student strike in the Canadian province that officials fear could harm the economy and deter tourists.

Rogerio Barbosa / AFP - Getty Images

Policemen aim a teargas gun.

Premier Jean Charest said his government would shortly unveil legislation to ensure students could freely attend classes, although he did not give details. He did not address speculation that the bill would allow strikers to be fined.

"It is time calm was restored ... the current situation has gone on for too long," Charest said in a late-night statement to reporters.

Some 155,000 people - more than a third of the college and university students in the predominantly French-speaking province - are striking to protest against a steep rise in what are some of the lowest tuition fees in north America. Read the full story.

Rogerio Barbosa / AFP - Getty Images

Rogerio Barbosa / AFP - Getty Images

Policemen restrain a student protester.