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University of Puerto Rico Reaches Boiling Point

NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 8:  A participant waves a flag in the annual Puerto Rico Day Parade June 8, 2008 in New York City. The parade honoring Puerto Ricans is an annual New York City tradition and takes place along Fifth Avenue.  (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 8: A participant waves a flag in the annual Puerto Rico Day Parade June 8, 2008 in New York City. The parade honoring Puerto Ricans is an annual New York City tradition and takes place along Fifth Avenue. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)  (2008 Getty Images)

The ongoing clash between college students and the University of Puerto Rico exploded in violence Wednesday.

The students, in the midst of a planned 48-hour blockade, are protesting a $800 special, annual fee proposed by the university. The protest follows a two-month strike to protest budget cuts and changes to the academic program earlier this year.

On Wednesday, some 60 students reportedly knocked down barricades set up by construction crews around the campus.

The Puerto Rico Daily Sun reported that the gates of the university were erected by independent contractors in anticipation of the protests. And students and professors, who have supported their cause, have said they felt under siege by young, ill-prepared security guards armed with Tasers.

El Nuevo Día reported on its Web site that at least one student and four security guards have been injured. One female student has been arrested for assaulting a police officer, the Associated Press reported.

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The Associated Press and EFE contributed to this story.

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