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Syria to ID Teachers Videotaped Beating Kids

Syrian authorities are vowing to reveal the identities of two female teachers shown in a widely-circulated cell phone video violently punishing terrified pupils in the country's north, hoping to bring conclusion to a case which has shocked the public and raised questions on the vulnerability of Syrian schoolchildren.

The two teachers' faces were seen clearly in a short video clip, posted on a Facebook page and then circulated by e-mail and other social networks.

The Directorate of Education for the Aleppo province promised the women would be identified "soon," with the new school year having now begun on Sept. 19.

In the video, scared pupils in a mixed-sex elementary school, possibly in a rural area of Aleppo, were seen receiving multiple harsh lashes with a baton on the palms of their feet and hands. The children can be heard screaming and crying in pain.

Assistant Education Minister Farah Suleiman said the suspected teachers could be from Ain al-Arab or Tel Arn in Aleppo countryside, adding that his ministry was serious about putting the nation's fears and worries over the incident promptly to rest.

He also called on all those involved to cooperate in disclosing all the details behind the humiliating event.

The case infuriated Syrians, particularly parents across the country, when the video found its way online thanks to a group of young Syrians who posted it on a banned Facebook page.

Facebook users posted comments describing the incident as "scandalous humiliation," a "massacre against childhood," and a "slaughter of childhood."

There were calls for the women to be punished in the same way they are seen punishing their students, and then dismissed.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are officially banned in Syria, but the country's younger generations have found ways to evade the censors, and many regularly use such social networking sites.

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