6 police injured in fight with steel workers
BRUSSELS — Six Belgian police officers were injured in Tuesday’s scuffles with some 2,000 steel workers protesting plans to lay off 1,300 workers at several ArcelorMittal plants in Liege. Workers attempting to get close to the regional government offices in southern Namur threw bricks at police, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Police said two policemen had to be hospitalized with the others treated locally, all for minor injuries. It was unclear how many protesters were injured. ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company, blamed a slump in demand and structural overcapacity in Europe for last week’s decision to close the plants. It says it will continue to operate five steel production lines, which employ 800 people.
Soldiers, Muslim Villagers Clash in Northern Arakan State
At least one person was killed in northern Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township on Monday following a clash between Burmese soldiers and Muslim villagers, according to local sources. The incident reportedly occurred after the soldiers were called in to deal with a confrontation between residents of a Muslim village called Don Khara Dan and government forestry officials who accused the villagers of illegally cutting wood near the village of Wai Tharli.
According to local sources, around 20 villagers from Don Khara Dan, which is located about 2 km from the town of Maungdaw, threatened three forestry officials with machetes when they told them to stop cutting wood. After the soldiers arrived on the scene to protect the officials, the villagers dispersed but later returned in larger numbers and tried to overpower the soldiers, the sources said. In the ensuing melee, one villager was accidentally shot, the sources added. “The Muslims tried to grab the guns from the soldiers. One of them was hit when a soldier fired a warning shot and died before they could get him to a hospital.
The other Muslims took his body away,” said a Maungdaw resident. Win Myaing, a spokesperson for the Arakan State government, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the forestry officials had tried to stop the villagers from cutting down trees in a forest reserve. “The Muslims started making problems for the Forestry Department staff, who were working on a road-building project in Wai Tharli village,” he said.