Chinese police detain 46 people at education protest in Leiyang city

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police on Sunday said it has detained 46 people in Leiyang city after bottles, bricks and firecrackers were thrown at officers and government officials during a 600-strong protest against problems in the education system.

In a statement on its official microblog, Leiyang police in China’s southern Hunan province said it detained the people for disturbing public order and damaging police facilities during the protest outside a police station late on Saturday.

People angry about the difficulty of enrolling their children at public schools protested near six schools and a government building and blocked roads, police said.

The protesters aired grievances to Leiyang mayor Li Xiangyang at the government building before moving onto the police station where projectiles were thrown, injuring over 30 officers and damaging vehicles, police said.

Of the 46 people detained, only one was a parent of school-age children, police said.

A police officer from Hengyang city, whose jurisdiction includes Leiyang city, later told Reuters that 41 of the people have been released.

The Leiyang Education Bureau did not answer telephone calls from Reuters seeking comment outside of regular business hours on Sunday.

Reporting by Stella Qiu, Judy Hua and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christopher Cushing