Belarus president fights clapping protests By Norman Hermant in Minsk and staff Updated 3 hours 5 minutes ago A Belarusian protestor waves from a prison cell after being arrested Video: Protesters arrested for applause (7pm TV News NSW) Audio: Protesters clapping, but far from happy (The World Today) Related Story: Belarus opposition leader jailed over protests Related Story: US wants Belarus activists freed from jail Related Story: Election sparks unrest in Belarus Belarus strongman president Alexander Lukashenko has vowed he will crush any attempt at a so-called internet-based uprising and warned his state security service, the KGB, are following his orders. Last night security forces blanketed the centre of the country's capital, Minsk, to prevent any further outbreak of a form of anti-government protest that simply involves applause. For weeks so-called clapping protests have been growing along with opposition to the president through the use of social media. On Belarus's independence day last weekend, the state security service, still called the KGB, unleashed a sweeping crackdown, arresting as many as 400 activists. The country's first independent president and now opposition member, Stanislav Shushkevich, says the state of the country is hard to believe. "Can you imagine it is forbidden to clap hands?" he said. "It is forbidden to get together with more than three people." Mr Shushkevich says he admires the internet's role in battling the government so far, but there are limits. "Cyber protection of the progressive internet is very weak," he said. "When I want to open an opposition site, due to the cyber attacks of our regime - special services - I get to the presidential site." The wife of jailed opposition leader Andrei Sannikov says the president will stop at nothing to quell the protest. "Lukashenko will go for everything," Irina Khalip said. "He will bring in tanks in the city if required, he will open fire against his nation." Ms Khalip was also jailed after the general election last December and she says social services threatened to take her three-year-old son into state custody. She was not informed about her son's whereabouts or condition for a time while she was in jail, but she has since been released and reunited with him. However her husband, Mr Sannikov, remains in jail on a five-year sentence for charges of staging riots.