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Riots follow dismissal of Chinese faction leader

Widespread clashes were reported from the southwestern city of Chongqing on Tuesday, the same day the city’s former party chief Bo Xilai was sacked from his remaining Communist party posts.

world Updated: Apr 12, 2012 01:03 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Widespread clashes were reported from the southwestern city of Chongqing on Tuesday, the same day the city's former party chief Bo Xilai was sacked from his remaining Communist party posts.

An anonymous government official told Associated Press that the incidents were not related. The incidents, the official indicated, were more connected to the merging of Wanshen, the part of Chongqing where the rioting took place, with the neighbouring Qijiang county.

Late on Wednesday night, the state-run Xinhua claimed residents of Chongqing were with the government. "The cadres and masses in Chongqing said they have observed the CPC Central Committee's determination to safeguard Party discipline and the country's laws. 'I will resolutely support the CPC Central Committee's decision,' said Xia Yang, chief procurator with the People's Procuratorate of Yuzhong district in Chongqing."

Earlier, the anonymous official told AP that Wansheng was running out of mining resources and trying to modernise its economy. "But its economic problems become more pronounced after it was merged into neighboring Qijiang county earlier this year, said the official, who like many Chinese officials did not want to give his name."

Online reports, which could not be independently verified, said thousands came out on the streets demanding that the merger be annulled. A large number of security personnel were deployed to bring the situation under control.

There was no word about the incident in the official media except a mention in the Chinese version of the state-run Xinhua news agency about a violent incident in Chongqing.