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PLA Unit Battles Damaging Bath Center Rumor
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A Chinese army unit in Shijiazhuang has refuted a rumor saying it acted with violence in a local bath house and has sued its source for slander, the Legal Daily reported on Monday.

At a recent press briefing, senior officers of the unit said the rumor has had an extremely negative impact on the reputation of the unit chief and all PLA units stationed in the city, and has led to prejudice against the army from society.

An online article posted early this year said the unit leader ordered a band of his subordinates to destroy equipment and utensils at the Jinbofan bath house in Shangjiazhuang, capital city of Hebei Province, after being asked to pay for a cup he broke at the center.

The story has been widely spread since then and has drawn much attention from the public and even some foreign media, according to the daily.

Local police launched an investigation into the case in mid-August after the bath center informed them of the article.

Their investigation proved that the case was indeed fake, as all leads pointed to one local resident, named Ji Shenghui. According to police sources, it was Ji who uploaded the article to an online BBS under the nickname "Yangtze Rive 750." However, Ji has denied the accusation, saying someone may have stolen his online ID and password to disseminate the rumor.

The lawsuit has been registered at a local court, according to sources with the unit.

(CRIENGLISH.COM December 12, 2006)

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