BEIJING - At least 39 people were injured on Saturday during a protest against plans to build a waste incinerator in eastern China, state media reported.
The clashes, which erupted at a rally in Hangzhou city in Zhejiang province, left at least 10 protesters and 29 policemen injured, said the official Xinhua news agency.
One demonstrator and a policeman suffered severe injuries when the demonstration turned violent.
"More than 30 cars were overturned. The protestors set two police cars on fire and smashed another four," the news agency reported.
Tens of thousands of protests are thought to occur across China every year, but they are tightly controlled by the ruling Communist party, which is wary of any social unrest.
There have been an increasing number of large-scale environmental protests in recent years, especially in urban areas.
Xinhua said the site of the incinerator scheduled to be built in Hangzhou was made public in April and that local residents feared the impact of the plant on their health. Last month, state media reported that Chinese police detained 18 people over large rallies opposing a chemical plant in Maoming after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets for days of protests in the southern province of Guangdong.