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8 arrested for striking police station in Dazhou
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Eight people including a local star entrepreneur and philanthropist, was arrested on Saturday because of striking a police station in Dazhou, southwestern Sichuan Province, after the police tried to stop them from setting off fireworks on a "No Fireworks Area", local public security source said.

Zhang Jiuyuan, general manager of Dazhou Telecome Industrial Co. Ltd, together with a group of people smashed the gate of a patrolling police car after being persuaded to stop setting off fireworks on Thursday evening in front of the downtown Xinde plaza, where is forbidden for firecrackers.

Zhang then led others ran into Chaoyang Police Station, crashed the office gate and furniture, beat police officers after the person who set off the firecrackers was taken away by the police, sources with the Dazhou municipal public security bureau said on Saturday.

Twelve police officers were injured. Pan Guangsu, a female policewoman in her forties, was beat to faint at the scene. Du Chongliang, another policeman, suffered from nose bridge fracture.

Eight people responsible for the offence were arrested for violently disturbing the police from executing public duties.

Zhang Jiuyuan was elected in an official selection as "2006 Top Ten Star Philanthropist" of Sichuan Province in 2007 for donating over 400,000 yuan (55,944 U.S. dollars) to support rural infrastructure construction and undergraduates.

He was also nominated as "Top Ten Star Philanthropist" of Dazhou city in January.

Many Chinese cities including Dazhou have lifted the ban on fireworks. The Dazhou government asked the public not to set off firecrackers in the downtown area through the local media before the Spring Festival holiday between Feb. 7 and Feb. 12.

China accounts for about 75 percent of the world's total annual firecracker production.

(Xinhua News Agency February 24, 2008)

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