Lorry drivers protest over fuel costs in Shanghai

Police take away a truck driver and his wife at a protest near a port in Shanghai on 21 April 2011 Scuffles between police and truck drivers took place at the protest on Thursday

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Lorry drivers in the Chinese city of Shanghai have staged a second day of protest over rising fuel prices they say are crippling their businesses.

Drivers began a three-day protest on Wednesday, when they blockaded two cargo ports in the city.

On Thursday about 2,000 people held another protest at a road junction near one of the ports, the drivers said.

China has raised fuel prices several times in the past year, blaming the rising cost of crude oil.

In April petrol and diesel prices hit a record high after the government raised prices by up to 5.5%.

There are reported to have been a number of arrests on both days but so far the authorities in Shanghai have refused to provide any information about the incidents, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Shanghai.

On Wednesday protests took place at Baoshan and Waigaoqiao ports, with strikers reportedly trying to overturn a car and smash the windows of lorries that had not joined their protest.

Images on Thursday from another demonstration at a road junction near Waigaoqiao port showed police trying to drag at least one man away.

As well as the cost of fuel, drivers have also been angered by new fees introduced by warehouse operators.

"Some people who don't have a lot of business cannot make money or will even lose money," driver Zhao Feng told the Associated Press news agency.

The drivers say their strike will continue, although our correspondent says it is not clear if they will be able to mount a third day of protests on Friday.

Chinese officials have warned that inflation is likely to remain high for the rest of the year. Consumer prices rose 4.9% in February from the same month a year ago, above the maximum target of 4%.

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