The picture was printed alongside an interview with the photographer
A tabloid newspaper was withdrawn from newsstands in China after running a photograph from the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters.
The photo - of two wounded young men being taken away on a rickshaw - was carried in Thursday's Beijing News.
The picture was simply captioned "The Wounded", and no mention of the protests was made in the text.
But observers suggest newspaper staff could face further punishment for broaching what remains a taboo subject.
China's ruling Communist Party initially tolerated the student-led pro-democracy protests, but finally sent in soldiers to put them down on the night of 3-4 June 1989.
Hundreds of people are thought to have been killed, though there has been no public disclosure of the death toll or investigation into what happened.
The photograph was printed alongside an interview with the Hong Kong-born American photographer Liu Xiangcheng as an example of his work.
As soon as Chinese officials noticed, they ordered the removal of the paper from the news-stands and part of its website was blocked.
The newspaper has made no comment on how the picture came to be published.
However, given China's tight controls on what is written about politically sensitive subjects, it seems most likely to have been a mistake by staff who did not realise the significance of the photo, rather than a deliberate act, says the BBC's East Asia reporter Stephen Jackson.
Either way, there are likely to be repercussions for senior staff at the paper, he adds.
Last year the authorities sacked three editors on a provincial newspaper for printing an advert praising the mothers of the Tiananmen victims for their campaign for justice.