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Police fire teargas at World Cup workers

By David Clarke

DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - South African police fired teargas and rubber bullets late Sunday to chase hundreds of protesting World Cup workers out of a stadium in the coastal city of Durban, Reuters witnesses said.

Riot police armed with shotguns and riot shields chased the workers, who were deployed as stewards in the ground and were protesting over wages, out of the stadium where Germany had earlier beaten Australia 4-0 in their opening World Cup game.

At least one woman was injured when she was hit by a rubber bullet, a Reuters witness said.

"We were mounting a peaceful protest because they were not paying us what we expected and we were surprised that the police started charging at us. They fired teargas at us," said one of the workers, Sydney Nzoli.

The around 500 workers later dispersed after police gave them a 10-minute deadline and said their grievances had to be discussed with their employers.

A police spokesman said the disturbance started after workers were paid less than they expected for their work during the match.

One worker said they were paid 190 rand ($24.50) for the day's work, instead of the 425 rand they were supposed to have been paid in terms of their contract.

At least two workers were detained by police, one of them after he handed over a pistol.

(Additional reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Writing by Marius Bosch; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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