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Girl’s death sparks rioting in China

THOUSANDS of rioters torched police and government office buildings in south-west China, in unrest triggered by allegations of a cover-up over a girl’s death.

About 10,000 people mobbed government offices in Weng’an county, Guizhou province, demanding justice over the teenager’s death after her body was found in a local river.

“Local residents were very angry about the injustice exercised by local authorities,” said a resident, an official at a local government office.

“About 10,000 people rushed to the site and totally burned down the county party office building, and burned other offices in the county government.”

“They also burned about 20 vehicles, including police cars,” the official, surnamed Huang, said.

Huang said residents were angered when authorities declared the girl had killed herself by jumping in the river.

Residents believed the girl had been raped and murdered by a relative of a senior government official.

Subsequent clashes with riot police left one protester dead, and more than 150 injured.

Huang said the girl’s family had rejected the authorities’ offer of 3,000 yuan (€280) compensation, later upped to 30,000 yuan, and residents had donated money to the family to sue local authorities.

The rioting comes as China seeks to quell any unrest ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games in August.


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