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Gang smashes up hotel in Shanghai
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A group armed with steel bars vandalized a hotel in Zhabei District yesterday morning, causing more than 500,000 yuan (US$71,429) in damage, the Youth Daily reported today.

Police are investigating but have not released any information about the case, the report said.

Employees of the three-star Dongguo Hotel said the violence occurred at 2 AM and lasted 20 minutes.

"They used steel bars to smash anything that was glass in the lobby and the canteen," a waitress surnamed Wang told the newspaper. "Even the thick glass of the automatic doors was also smashed to pieces."

Another witness said an armed man broke into the dorm where she and her colleague were sleeping.

"He opened the locked door by force and was holding a metal bar," the woman told the newspaper. She said the man was about 20 years old and fierce looking.

"Soon another man came and blocked the door. But I could still peep through the chink and I saw a security guard being beaten by a group of five to six men," she said in the report.

The manager of the hotel surnamed Ouyang told the newspaper the hotel had been vandalized three times this year and the assailants might be the same guys.

"They usually come at 2 AM and smash all the glass. Sometimes they turned up during the daytime, sat in the canteen and harassed other guests so that diners could not have meals," the report quoted him. "After watching the video tape taken by surveillance cameras, our employees believe the groups of hooligans share many similarities in appearance."

Ouyang told the newspaper that the hotel had never offended the assailants and he did not know the motives for the attacks.

"The incident has hurt business as many guests decided to check out today. Most of them were members of travel groups and now we have dozens of vacant rooms," Ouyang told the newspaper.

(Shanghai Daily June 16, 2008)

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