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Hundreds protest chemical plant in southern China

Published on Mar 31, 2014 6:40 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Hundreds of protesters in southern China marched against a chemical plant and environmental degradation in a demonstration that the Maoming city government called a "grave violation" by criminals causing chaos.

Photos posted on Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblog service, showed hundreds of demonstrators on Sunday marching along the streets, an overturned car in flames and protesters lying bloodied on the road. Others showed lines of paramilitary police marching in formation.

The images of violence - which could not be independently verified by Reuters - caused an outcry on Chinese social media, although many were later removed from the site by censors.

Residents of Maoming, in Guangdong province, were protesting the production of paraxylene, a chemical used to make fabrics and plastic bottles at a plant run by the local government and state-owned Sinopec Corp, China's biggest refiner.

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