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Thousands in China protest after officials beat vendor, passer-by: report

Published on Apr 20, 2014 8:15 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Thousands took to the streets of a Chinese city to protest at the beating of a vendor and of a passer-by who took photos of the incident, reports said on Sunday.

The incident at Lingxi city in Cangnan county in the eastern province of Zhejiang is the latest instance of public outrage triggered by the behaviour of China's "chengguan", quasi-police officials who enforce local regulations and have a reputation for brutality.

Five chengguan were injured in the protest, with two in critical condition, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported on Sunday. The passer-by, a man surnamed Huang, was in stable condition.

According to an account posted by the Cangnan government on its official microblog on Saturday night, the incident began when several chengguan in Lingxi demanded that a vendor stop "illegally" selling gas stoves and other items, which they said were blocking the sidewalk.

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