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Staff at a Chinese Internet cafe have resigned after they were beaten up last week by a gang of 16 teenagers barred from entering the cybercafe. The gang of youths beat one worker with bins and fire extinguishers before trashing the Internet café. Earlier they threatened to beat up anyone who "dared to check identity cards" after being refused entry to the cybercafe.

The attack is the latest in as series of assaults at an Internet chain in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China, and follows a recent Government crackdown to prevent minors from entering cybercafes. The Chinese Government is concerned the Net can corrupt the minds of youngsters. But the clampdown has only sought to enrage some whippersnappers, who, in one attack, even slashed bicycle tyres, according to Xinhuanet.

In a separate incident, two cybercafe workers in Shanghai were killed over an argument about the use of computers. According to AP, around ten men chased the two workers before stabbing them to death.

China has shut down more than 8,600 cybercafes over the last couple of months over fears that they can affect the "mental health of teenagers" while spreading "unhealthy online information". As part of China's bid to protect youngsters, authorities also ruled that Internet cafes are not to operate in residential areas or within 200 metres of primary and high schools. ®

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