Injuries mar Chinese New Year festivities

Feb. 14, 2010 at 1:26 PM
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BEIJING, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Chinese official said Sunday that 52 people were hurt in festivities in honor of the start of the Chinese New Year.

Zhou Zhengyu, director of the Municipal Government's Fireworks Management Office, said the number of injured as of early Sunday represented a 44 percent increase compared with last year, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Sunday marked the start of the Year of the Tiger on the lunar calendar.

Zhou confirmed the injuries during the Chinese New Year festivities, Spring Festival, were all minor. No reports of casualties were reported.

Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau sources said in preparation for New Year's Eve festivities Saturday, a large security force was dispatched to prevent injuries and violence.

The security force included 25,000 police officers, along with 13,000 armed police and militia.

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