Police in a south China city bordering Vietnam clashed with thousands of rioters who were protesting against excessive brutality meted out to a suspected smuggler, the government and a rights group said.
The incident occurred Friday in Dongxing city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, with rioters destroying numerous police and border patrol vehicles and clashing with security forces, local police said in microblog postings.
According to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, up to 10,000 people joined in the rioting and over 20 police and customs vehicles were smashed or burned. Up to 100 people were “killed or injured” during clashes, it said.
Increasing numbers of anti-riot police and security forces arrived in Dongxing throughout Friday.
The rioting erupted after locals on a busy Dongxing street saw a motorcyclist being treated brusquely by anti-smuggling police after crashing their vehicle into him, authorities and the centre said.
Police estimated around 1,000 people were at the scene of the riot, but only a handful of people engaged in lawless behaviour.