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Tuesday, October 12, 1999 Published at 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

In pictures: Buddha's frontline



Hundreds of monks have clashed in the centre of the South Korean capital, Seoul, in a dispute over control of the country's richest monastic order.


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Trouble started when monks, dressed in grey robes, tried to enter Seoul's Chogye Buddhist temple. The defenders, including hired security guards, used fire extinguishers to hold them at bay.


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The violence turned ugly as the monks armed themselves with whatever weapons came to hand - in this case a commandeered photographer's ladder.


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Riot police were called to the scene, and arrived in large numbers.


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At least 10 people were injured but not all the monks resorted to violence - this man has the word "Reform" written on his gong.


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About 4,000 riot police were deployed - a spokesman said they feared a repeat performance on Wednesday.





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