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Taiwan police use water cannon on demonstrators to retake government

Published on Mar 24, 2014 11:08 AM
Protesters are sprayed with a water cannon during a demonstration outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei early on March 24, 2014, following Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's refusal to scrap a contentious trade agreement with China. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan riot police used water cannon on Monday to dislodge hundreds of demonstrators who stormed government headquarters, escalating a protest over a China trade pact that has seen parliament occupied for nearly a week.

A total of 1,000 officers were deployed overnight to remove the protesters from the Executive Yuan where the cabinet is located, Taipei's police department said, adding that 32 people were arrested.

In wild scenes, demonstrators pulled down barbed wire barricades surrounding the government building, and used ladders to break into offices on the second floor.

Clashes broke out when police tried to remove the protesters from the building and the compound surrounding it, with many lying on the ground with their hands linked to try to defy efforts to shift them.

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