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Police detain 100 people over violence in Guizhou protest
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Police in southwest China's Guizhou Province have put 100 people, including 39 members of local gangs, under criminal detention in relation to a violent protest last month.

The police were still seeking other "gangsters" who were in hiding, said Peng Dequan, vice director of the Guizhou Provincial Public Security Department.

More than 500 people had been investigated as of Saturday, Peng added. The detentions were made after police announced on July 2 a four-month crackdown on gangs who were accused of inciting the violence over a teenager's death in Weng'an County.

Guizhou police have set up a work team to investigate the protest and crack down on local gangs as senior provincial government officials said the violence was "fanned and exacerbated by local gangs and criminals", who were organized in providing gasoline, machetes, clubs and fireworks to aid the destruction.

The team published notices to urge offenders to surrender to the police and encouraged local residents to provide information on the alleged organizers of the violence.

Up to 30,000 people were involved in the protest, which was prompted by the police report into the death of 17-year-old Li Shufen. Police concluded she drowned, but her family and relatives had contended she was raped and killed.

The protest turned violent on the weekend of June 28 and 29 and rioters mobbed government office buildings. More than 150 police and protesters were injured, but no deaths were reported. About 160 offices and more than 40 vehicles were torched.

The final autopsy concluded last week shows the girl was drowned, according to authorities.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2008)

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