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Women sexually 'assaulted' during water festival

By Cao Yin  and Huang Yiming (China Daily)

08:52, August 24, 2012

Several women were sexually assaulted on Thursday during festivities to mark a local water festival in the island province of Hainan, according to eyewitnesses.

Around 8:30 am, several men tried to touch some women's breasts, tearing their clothes during celebrations in Qixian Square, Baoting Li and Miao autonomous county, a website run by Xinhua News Agency reported.

Li Min, a tourist from Wanning in Hainan who has participated in the festival for the past five years, told China Daily that four or five women were assaulted after an opening ceremony, and the attackers were taken away by police.

"There were more than 1,000 people on the square playing with water at that time, and most of them were very young," he said, adding that he was standing on the second floor of a building overlooking the square.

"I saw a man take off a young woman's clothes, while similar situations also happened to four or five other women who were playing with water in different areas of the square at the same time.

"Later, police came to restore order, taking the men out of the square," Li said, adding that he couldn't tell how many men were taken into custody.

Read the Chinese version: 海南嬉水节 数十名女性被扒衣袭胸性骚扰

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