Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

S Korean MPs scuffle with guards


South Korean lawmakers in mass brawl

Opposition lawmakers in South Korea have scuffled with security guards who tried to end their blockade of parliament in the capital Seoul.

Several MPs from the Democratic Party were injured in the brawl.

The MPs are protesting against plans by the ruling Grand National Party to push through more than 80 bills, including a major trade agreement with the US.

The opposition's sit-in - which began on 26 December - has paralysed the National Assembly.

Injured opposition lawmakers in Seoul
Several lawmakers suffered minor injuries

Scuffles began on Saturday when scores of security guards tried to force the protesting MPs to leave the parliament building.

TV footage showed some lawmakers being marched out of parliament.

The opposition later condemned the guards' action as illegal.

The Democratic Party says the proposed trade deal with the US will hurt South Korean farmers.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his Grand National Party deny the claim, saying the deal would be a boost to the country's economy.

The Grand National Party wants to pass the legislation before the current parliamentary session ends on 8 January.

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