July 19, 2008 / 12:09 PM / 11 years ago

Police kill two in clash in southwest China: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese police killed two people in a clash with locals residents in Menglian County, a rubber farming area in southwest China’s Yunnan province with a large ethnic minority population, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The police fired baton guns after they were attacked by about 400 local residents, Xinhua said. Thirteen policemen and one local resident were also injured in the incident.

Xinhua cited local sources as saying some of those involved in the incident were rubber farmers who had taken part in violent protests against a local rubber firm.

China faces thousands of protests and riots every year, most of them small and never openly reported.

A recent series of reported unrest, however, comes at a tense time as Beijing prepares for the Olympic Games in August that it has promoted as a show of social progress and harmony.

A violent protest last month brought 30,000 residents to the streets of Weng’an in Guizhou province, which borders Yunnan, after allegations spread that police had covered up the rape and murder of a local teenage girl.

Reporting by Edmund Klamann

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