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Protesters clash with police in southern China

08 june 2011, 11:35
Hundreds of people battled police and destroyed cars in southern China after a factory worker was wounded in a knife attack over a wage dispute, AFP reports, citing authorities and media Wednesday.

Eighteen people were injured and nine were detained in Guangdong province's Chaozhou city on Monday when police tried to quell a protest involving more than 200 migrant workers, the local government and Global Times newspaper said.

Protesters had gathered in front of a government building demanding authorities punish three people suspected of attacking a migrant worker surnamed Xiong on June 1, reports said.

The attack came after Xiong had demanded two months of unpaid wages, the state-run Global Times said.

The three suspects, including the boss of the ceramics factory where Xiong worked, have been arrested and their cases transferred to the local judicial department for "criminal punishment", the Chaozhou government said in a statement.

A video posted on popular web portal Sina.com appeared to show hundreds, possibly thousands, of people standing on a street in the city and a number of men hurling objects and hitting a parked van with poles.

One vehicle was set alight, three were destroyed and 15 were damaged during the violent clashes, the statement said.

A government official surnamed Cai told AFP on Wednesday that the incident had been "settled". "There is no more gathering," the official said.

The number of labour disputes in China has risen in recent years as migrant workers employed in thousands of workshops and factories across the country increasingly demand better pay and conditions.

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