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Policeman stabbed in Tiananmen Square

Agence France Presse
May 17, 2007


A policeman was stabbed in Beijing's Tiananmen Square at the weekend, one day after a vandal damaged the huge Mao Zedong portrait facing the politically sensitive landmark, authorities said Thursday.

The officer was stabbed on Sunday after questioning a man who had been "lingering on the square and acting suspiciously for several days," Xinhua news agency said, quoting a statement from the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

The man became annoyed and lashed out, hitting the unnamed officer in the face before stabbing him in the stomach with a knife, the statement said.

Police detained the man, identified as Pan Shucun, 41, from northern China's Inner Mongolia region, at the scene following the attack, it said.

The officer is in a stable condition at a local hospital, state-run Xinhua said. No other details were given.

The attack was the second rare incident in as many days at the tightly controlled square, which was the scene of weeks-long pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 that were violently crushed.

On Saturday, police detained an unemployed man after he tried to set fire to the portrait of Chinese revolutionary leader Mao near the entrance to the Forbidden City.

Gu Haiou, 35, from the northwest Xinjiang region, hurled a burning object which left a burn mark on the lower left part of the iconic portrait, Xinhua reported earlier.



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