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China arrests 6, blocks websites for spreading rumours of 'military entering Beijing'

Beijing , Sat, 31 Mar 2012 ANI

Beijing, Mar 31 (ANI): China has reportedly arrested six people and shut 16 websites for spreading misinformation that military vehicles were on the streets of Beijing.

The posts on websites, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibowere, were picked up by media outlets across the world, and some critics of Beijing suggested a coup might be taking place.

The State Internet Information Office (SIIO) said the rumours had a 'very bad influence on the public.'

Xinhua quoted a spokesman for the SIIO, as saying that the two websites had been 'criticised and punished accordingly'.

Meanwhile, two popular microblogs have temporarily stopped users from posting comments, The BBC reports.

The websites said the comments function would be disabled between 31 March and 3 April, so they could act to stop the spread of rumours.

The web-postings came at a crucial time for China's ruling elite, which was hit by its biggest scandal in years when high-flying party official Bo Xilai was removed from his post. (ANI)

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