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Clashes erupt at South Korean naval base site where protests continue

Kang Jae-nam / Newsis via Reuters

Riot police struggle with protesters during a rally against the construction of a new naval base in Seogwipo on Jeju island September 2, 2011.

Kim Ho-cheon / Yonhap via Reuters

Protesters struggle with riot police to keep their positions during a rally against the construction of a new naval base in Seogwipo on Jeju island September 2, 2011. The riot troops launched a surprise raid early morning on Friday to remove some 100 protesters who have been occupying the construction site for about 10 months. South Korean military resumed the construction of the naval base which will be home to about 20 naval vessels and two 150,000-ton cruisers, Yonhap reported.

Ongoing protests over plans to build a naval base erupted in clashes with police today as construction, which had been halted in June, was schedule to begin.  The protesters worry that the base will eventually house U.S. troops. Yonhap news reports:

The Seogwipo Police Station began the surprise raid at 5:10 a.m. at the mouth of Gangjeong Village, where around 80 to 100 angry residents and activists have been staging a sit-in rally against the government's move to build a new naval base, they said.

 It is not immediately known whether the riot troops intend to disperse the protesters.

 South Korea's military started construction of the naval base near the village on the resort island's southern coast facing the South China Sea in January, saying the facility is necessary to strengthen national security by increasing military mobility in the southern maritime territory.

Looks like there was an equal amount of pushing from both sides.