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19 injured in China riot
BEIJING, Aug 9 (AFP) Aug 09, 2006
Nineteen people were injured in a riot over a clan dispute in the central Chinese province of Hunan after stores were smashed and police vehicles overturned, state media reported Wednesday.

Fights between residents of Wenxing and Yanglinzhai townships raged in the period from July 23 to 25, Xinhua news agency's English service reported, after some of them got into a violent row at a nightclub.

The fights escalated into a riot after local government and police attempts to intervene failed, the report said, quoting unnamed local officials.

Ten stores were destroyed and three police vehicles were overturned amid the conflicts, and the riot was only put to a stop after police were deployed, it said, without stating how many officers were mobilized.

This was the first time the official media had reported on the incident, after the overseas media wrote extensively about the riot. The official Xinhua news agency had not yet reported on the event in Chinese.

A resident surnamed Wu told AFP that authorities mobilized around 2,000 soldiers to control the situation.

A statement from the county government on its website said that an "illegal minority" assaulted government and party agencies, obstructed traffic and even taken hostages.

The incident prompted the county government to issue a statement banning public assembly and demonstrations, according to its website.

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