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Police begin to disperse protesters with water cannons
Central News Agency
2014-04-28 04:49 AM
Taipei, April 28 (CNA) Police began early Monday morning to disperse hundreds of the anti-nuclear protesters who have occupied a main traffic artery in front of the Taipei Rail Station since Sunday afternoon. Water cannons were used as the police -- some in riot gear -- tried to push back the crowd.

Police began the action shortly before 3 a.m. after failed attempts earlier to persuade the protesters to leave the Zhongxiao West Road as their legally permitted rally had come to an end at midnight.

Sporadic scuffles erupted when police tried to remove the protesters by hand. Some of the protesters wailed and yelled at the officers and some of them resisted by lying on the ground.

Thousands of people gathered in the normally busy street Sunday afternoon to demand the government immediately stop the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant and lower the voter turnout threshold for holding a national referendum to decide the fate of the plant located in New Taipei City.

After President and ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou held talks with KMT mayors and county magistrates around the country on the issue, a party spokesman announced late Sunday afternoon that the government has agreed to halt the construction work of the controversial plant.

Many of the demonstrators refused to leave, saying they will continue their occupation until a government announcement is made.

Echoed by the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the protest groups including Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan demanded a clarification on the government's intention by Premier Jiang Yi-huah. Taipei Mayor Hau lung-bin vowed late Sunday night to use all means necessary to return traffic along Zohngxiao West Road to normal by Monday morning as the occupation had seriously impacted traffic in downtown Taipei. (By Bear Lee)

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