Police in China's Guangdong province are under orders to arrest anyone suspected of stoking tensions that erupted into deadly rioting this week between migrant workers and local residents.
Protests exploded into violence Monday and Tuesday in the provincial city of Zhongshan, with fighting between locals and migrants who have long-complained of wages and benefits lower than those available to local workers.
There has been no official report of injuries or arrests. But media reports from nearby Hong Kong say at least five and as many as 30 people have died in the violence, which also left hundreds of others injured.
The French news agency quotes a local government statement issued Thursday as saying police have been deployed to key areas of the city to enforce "strict control measures against criminal protesters who provoke, strike or inflict harm." That statement said no one had been killed or seriously injured.
The rioting is the latest in a string of violent protests in Guangdong linked to migrant workers and protests against unequal wages and other forms of alleged discrimination.
Last year, hundreds of provincial police battled with migrant workers in Guangdong's Zengcheng city, following an altercation involving police and a migrant street-vendor and his pregnant wife, who were allegedly selling their wares in front of a supermarket.
Months later, thousands of workers went on strike at a Guangdong factory, clashing with police while protesting layoffs and wage cuts at a factory making popular athletic shoes sold widely in Western countries.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.