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STUDENTS DIDN'T PARTICIPATE IN DEADLY BUCHAREST RIOTS, OFFICIAL SAYS

A government minister said Saturday that student groups were not to blame for rioting in Bucharest in which six people died.

In a fresh indication that the authorities are trying to win over their critics, Interior Minister Doru Ursu said, "It is more than clear that the students of Bucharest were in no way involved in the violent events of June 13-15."University buildings were ransacked and students and other people were attacked by miners who came to the capital at the request of President Ion Iliescu to quell anti-government riots.

Three delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross are to start visiting people arrested during the unrest Monday to check on their health and conditions of detention.

The ICRC representative in Romania, Thierry Meyrat, said the mission could last for months depending on the timetable for any judicial proceedings against the detainees. He declined to answer questions about the number or whereabouts of prisoners.

Ursu said he could not discuss individual students, but added that "in no way can we talk about students' organizations participating in the events (last week's violence)."

"I could even go further and say that the students through their calm attitude and their whole activity in that period have acted as a factor of stabilization."

Recent contradictory statements by ministers and newspapers accused agents of the supposedly defunct Securitate secret police of either instigating or clamping down on the violence.