Protesting Nicaraguan students send terrified messages to their families while hiding from gunfire

Petrified students begged for help as they found themselves in the line of fire. Credit: AP

Cowering behind barricades as shots rang out around them, these Nicaraguan students sent terrified farewell messages home as they feared for their lives.

"We are alone, we are alone," they shout.

"We will die then. There is nothing we can do."

The students, who were protesting against President Daniel Ortega, were met with heavy gunfire believed to be fired by forces loyal to the government.

"I did it for the country and I don't regret it," a crying girl said in the heartbreaking footage.

"Mother, forgive me. I love you."

The date of the recording remains unclear.

Tensions in Nicaragua erupted this spring after the government announced social security cuts.

Although the changes were quickly reversed, students took to the streets and occupied the main university as they called for Mr Ortega to step down.

More than 200 university students were reunited with their families on Saturday after a tense night of armed attacks left two students dead and dozens injured.

The young group had sought refuge in a local church after police forced them from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua.

Students had occupied the university during two months of protests.

Relieved parents were reunited with their children after the siege ended. Credit: PA

“It was a really hard night. They discharged their entire heavy arsenal against stones and mortars,” said one young man who declined to give his name out of fear.

“They wanted to kill us all.”

The police have not issued official statements.

The crisis in Nicaragua has left around 270 dead and more than 2,000 injured as groups loyal to the government crack down on opponents.