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Hundreds of migrant workers attack police office
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Hundreds of migrant workers attacked a local police station in east China's Zhejiang Province from Thursday to Saturday, leaving three policemen injured, police told Xinhua on Monday.

The incident was caused by a conflict over registering for temporary residence between a migrant worker named Zhang Zhongfu and the police in Yuhuan County.

Zhang, 34, is from southwest China's Sichuan Province and lives in Shuanglong Village of Kanmen town, Yuhuan.

The conflict happened when Zhang went to the police office to register for a temporary residence card on late Wednesday.

"The government employees told me that I could not be registered without my identification card. I quarreled with them and they hit me on my head," Zhang Zhongfu said.

However, the police later announced that after investigation they found Zhang's wound was caused when he bumped his head against the wall after he got drunk.

Zhang and his fellow workers from the same province felt dissatisfied with the announcement. They told Xinhua that they thought the police simply took the side of the government employees.

Zhang returned to the register office at 7 p.m. on Thursday and quarreled with the employees, and police came to solve the problem and were surrounded by residents while taking Zhang away, said the county government.

Some people said they also thought the police were simply taking sides of the government workers. A few even threw rocks at the police, a Xinhua reporter saw at the scene.

Three policemen were hurt in the incident, and 23 migrant workers were arrested.

Hundreds of migrant workers gathered in front of the gate of the police station in Kanmen, "asking for an explanation" at 8 p.m. on Friday. They wanted the arrested to be released, members of the crowd told Xinhua.

Another gathering happened at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Hundreds of workers gathered to make the same demand.

Police said the incident was now over. No death has been reported so far.

The provincial and municipal governments said the incident was important. The secretary of the Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhao Hongzhu, ordered the governments to actively deal with the situation.

The county's government held a meeting after getting the order at midnight Sunday to discuss measures to stabilize the county.

As of Monday, one person was still under arrest while the other 22 had been released, sources with local government said.

A press release at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday from the county's government said, "With the fast development of our county's economy, thousands of migrant workers have come to Yuhuan County. They have made great contributions to the development of the county and soon became a part of Yuhuan, living harmoniously with local residents," said Zhao Chenhuan, deputy director of the county's administration for migrant people.

However, management of migrant people poses pressure on local government, Zhao added, pledging to take more measures to better serve the migrant people and improve their living conditions.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2008)

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