By Edward Cody
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, March 4, 2008; Page A14
BEIJING, March 3 — Violent protests erupted in several southern Chinese fishing towns after residents heard that a chemical factory rejected as environmentally dangerous by the nearby city of Xiamen would be built in their area instead, witnesses and other residents said Monday.
The protesters, who began their uprising peacefully Thursday, clashed repeatedly with baton-wielding police Friday and Saturday in several towns near the Gulei Peninsula, about 50 miles southwest of Xiamen on the Taiwan Strait, they said. A dozen people were injured and carried away for treatment in local hospitals, and about 15 were arrested, according to demonstrators and their family members.”I have never seen anything like that before,” said a 19-year-old student who watched one of the clashes unfold. “As soon as I saw all the injured people, I left,” he added, identifying himself only as Chen.
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