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Malaysia Police Fire Tear Gas and Arrest Hundreds of Protesters

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NY Times
July 9, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR — Police arrested almost 1,000 people and fired tear gas on protesters in Malaysia’s capital on Saturday in an attempt to prevent an afternoon rally by election reform advocates.

Officials said they had arrested 924 people for “various offenses” by late afternoon, including senior protest leaders.

Demonstrators were seen scattering throughout Saturday afternoon as police fired tear gas. In one late-afternoon skirmish, police volleyed tear gas on thousands of protesters near the city’s Central Market. The Associated Press reported that police had also used chemical-laced water to disperse some demonstrators. Roads leading into the capital and some streets in the city remained close late Saturday afternoon, as helicopters hovered over the city center.

Saturday’s confrontation between police and protesters culminated after weeks of growing tension as activists have called on Prime Minister Najib Razak to reform the way elections are conducted. The next election must be held by mid-2013, but there is speculation it could be held as early as this year.

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This article was posted: Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 4:51 am

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