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21 injured in cleanup riot in Shenzhen
(Shenzhen Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-21 15:18

Violence erupted in Bao'an District in Shenzhen on Wednesday leaving 21 law enforcement workers injured after they tried to demolish illegal sheds in a water storage reserve in Shiyan Township.

Police take cover beside an overturned car protecting themselves with shields against a shower of bricks at the height of the attack. [Shenzhen Daily]

An official was held hostage and three vehicles were damaged, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported Thursday.

The illegal sheds were accommodation for more than 3,000 vegetable growers and livestock breeders, resulting in contamination of the water storage for years, the report said.

Authorities ordered the demolition of the illegal buildings before May 14, but the execution had been obstructed several times by the residents.

The residents had asked for government compensation of as much as 100 million yuan (US$12 million), the report said.

When some 400 law enforcement workers were about to demolish the sheds around 10 a.m. Wednesday, the residents blocked the road and attacked them with bricks and spades, injuring 21.

The situation deteriorated when the farmers forced the vice township head into a shed and held him hostage, the report said.

More police were sent to the site and two men were detained. Around 5 p.m., the district head went to the site to negotiate with the residents.

The situation was brought under control about two hours later and the vice township head was released nearly 10 hours after he was taken hostage, the report said. An investigation is continuing.

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