the chinese can be very, very volatile

  1. 6,931 Posts.
    This kind of event is not uncommon in China. Riots over trivial events.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Police on hunt for instigators of huge riot in Guangdong
    One killed, scores injured as protest over bridge tolls spins wildly out of control

    CHOW CHUNG-YAN in Shenzhen

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    Police in the Guangdong city of Jieyang are hunting for suspects who helped incite a massive riot last week during a protest against alleged overcharging for bridge tolls.
    Five people were arrested at the scene and 12 more were detained later. Jieyang's Public Security Department has issued a public notice asking others involved to turn themselves in by today.

    During the riot, thousands of residents set fire to a toll-bridge office and pelted police officers and firefighters with stones. At least one protester, said to be a teenage boy, was killed. A score of others, including seven firefighters, were injured.

    The riot broke out at about 9pm last Wednesday after a local woman quarrelled with toll collectors, claiming she had been overcharged.

    Some witnesses said the woman was beaten up by toll-booth staff. Hundreds of villagers surrounded the toll-bridge office after hearing the news.

    They broke into the office and stripped it of all valuables. They then poured diesel fuel on the building and set it on fire, according to the Jieyang Daily. About 20,000 residents watched the riot, with the crowd blocking the road.

    When two fire engines arrived to battle the blaze, one of them knocked down the teenager and an elderly man. The boy was killed instantly. Residents pelted the fire engines and firefighters with stones before setting the engines ablaze.

    Authorities called in more than 1,000 public security officers to disperse the crowd, but they did not manage to quell the disturbance until 11.40pm. The arrested villagers are being held at a local police station for further questioning.

    The Jieyang Public Security Department's notice calling for other suspects to turn themselves in warned that those who failed to report to the authorities by today would be punished severely.

    "Any institution, organisation or individual who provides accommodation or assistance to the suspects will be treated as their accomplice," the notice warned.

    Meanwhile, another clash last Wednesday in Yunnan province's Weimo village, Xianshan county, saw more than 200 residents brawl with local police after a minor traffic dispute.

    The Yunnan Information Post reported that police officer Lu Xiong fired four shots and killed two local residents, Zuo Wei and Jiang Shanwei . The row started when Zuo refused to give way to Lu's motorcycle, and Jiang later entered the dispute.

    The report said Jiang's family had been given 50,000 yuan in compensation, but made no mention of whether Zuo's family had been compensated. Lu was being detained.

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