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U.S. Consulate Building Set Ablaze

May 9, 1999

BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese protesters broke into and severely burned a U.S. consulate building in southwest China, an Embassy spokesman said Sunday.

A large number of people broke into the consulate compound in Chengdu and severely burned the consulate general’s residence, said Tom Cooney, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Beijing.

No U.S. staff were injured and Chinese police used tear gas to disperse the crowd, he said.

Cooney also said that U.S. officials in Beijing, where the Embassy was surrounded by protesters for the second day Sunday, were not getting adequate protection.

``We feel that we are under a state of siege here. We don’t have adequate security,″ he said. He said the embassy had made a strong protest to Chinese authorities Saturday to provide better protection.

``We don’t have the ability to move between our buildings like we should,″ Cooney said.

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