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First large riot over SARS

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[Beijing, April 29, 2003] The first SARS-related social turmoil occurred in Hangugang, a town near Tianjin City. More than 10,000 residents in a protest set fire to a local middle school building, which would have been used to house SARS patients. They also raided the government office and turned cars upside down in an effort to stop the government attempt to move SARS patients to their town. When armed police arrived, the crowd dispersed, according to local officials. The authorities have arrested 10 to 20 persons on April 29, according to an official.

Angered local residents expressed to the reporters that the Central Government claimed to have stopped SARS from spreading to the rural areas and yet it is sending SARS patients to their neighborhood.

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