Taxi-drivers attack Soveto busses

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(First Edition)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Protesters attacked commuter buses yesterday in the Soweto township, but Johannesburg was calm after two days of clashes between police and taxi-drivers. The South African Press Association reported that police opened fire with shotguns and tear-gas on a group that burnt two buses near Soweto. No injuries were reported.

Riot police patrolled Johannesburg city centre and black taxi vans were banned from the city following clashes on Monday and Tuesday that left at least one person dead and several injured. The Law and Order Minister, Hernus Kriel, has declared Johannesburg an unrest area, giving police wide powers to arrest people and disperse crowds.

Protesting taxi-drivers complain that traffic police harass them, and say they want subsidies similar to those the government pays to the bus company. They started a strike on Monday by blocking some city roads, and then confronting police who came to move the hundreds of vehicles. On Tuesday, a smaller group of-taxi drivers held a similar protest because some of the people arrested on Monday remained in custody. Police opened fire with shotguns and tear-gas on both days.