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Belarus Detains Dozens Of Protesters

WATCH: Plainclothes police arrest protesters in latest regular flash-mob-style demonstrations against regime of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. (video: RFE/RL's Belarus Service)

Authorities in Belarus have detained dozens of people for taking part in antigovernment protests in Minsk and other cities.

The Belarusian rights group Vyasna said several reporters were also taken in for questioning.

The protests took place in response to a call by the Internet group Revolution Through the Social Network, the latest in a series of such Wednesday protests.

In Minsk, the AP news agency reported that plainclothes police kicked and punched protesters before bundling them into unmarked vans.

Reports said undercover police filled central squares across the country's main cities hours before the event was due to begin and began making arrests in advance.

Vyasna said access inside Belarus to social networks such as Twitter and popular local sites Vkontakte and Odnoklasnik disappeared shortly before the rallies began.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka launched a crackdown on the opposition after mass protests erupted following his reelection in December.

Previous rallies saw hundreds of arrests. At least 130 people were sentenced last week alone to short prison sentences and fines for taking part in the latest protests.

compiled from agency reports