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Police fire at protesting farm workers

Police have started shooting at De Doorns farm workers following violent protests.

Protesting farm workers march through the De Doorns town centre on 6 November 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Police have fired rubber bullets at protesters in De Doorns, near Worcester, after they pelted stones at patrolling officers.

Farm workers in the area have been up in arms since Monday, saying they want their daily wages doubled.

They torched vineyards and forced the closure of the N2 highway.

Three Western Cape government MECs are currently in the area to find solution to the problem.

Armed with sticks, the protesters scattered all over the open field.

Some have however taken a spot on a hill, overlooking the heavily armed police.

The situation is tense and protesters are demanding better salaries as they are battling to survive.

At least 30 hectares of vineyard have been torched.

There are also unconfirmed reports that a farmer was arrested earlier for firing warning shots at protesters.

Meanwhile, six people have been arrested in connection with the violent protest.

The police's Andre Traut said, "The situation is being monitored. Six people have been arrested for public violence and looting shops in the area."

The road remains closed to traffic.

It will be reopened once the debris has been cleared.