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The Associated Press April 21, 2010, 2:29PM ET

Puerto Rico university closes as students strike

One of the largest universities in the Caribbean closed Wednesday as hundreds of students clashed with security guards during a 48-hour strike to protest budget cuts and changes to the academic program at the University of Puerto Rico.

The university's Rio Piedras campus, its largest, will remain closed indefinitely, interim Chancellor Ana Guadalupe announced.

She said she made the decision after 19 guards were injured in the clash.

Guadalupe said the closure would delay the graduation scheduled for June 17, enrollment in August and affect students who have been accepted to universities abroad.

The strike comes three weeks before classes end.

Students have sought to meet with university President Jose Ramon de la Torre to talk about budget cuts, course changes and a proposal to increase university fees.

The university has 11 campuses and more than 65,000 students. Its alumni include U.S. Rep. Nydia Velasquez and former baseball player Bernie Williams.

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