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iPad 2 launch sparks violence in Beijing, several Apple fans injured

A fracas has broken out at an Apple Store in Beijing, leaving several people injured and windows smashed. It all kicked off when an Apple employee attacked a man trying to jump the queue.

Fisticuffs erupted at the Beijing launch of the iPad 2 this weekend. Several people were injured and a glass door was smashed as tempers flared among tablet-hungry Chinese punters.

The fracas took place outside the Sanlitun Apple Store in China's capital city, and while a definitive version of what happened is hard to track down, a witness said the punch-up was between a Chinese customer and a "foreign" Apple Store employee. The altercation reportedly started because a customer tried to jump the queue.

Wang Ming, 30, says he was passing by when a bottle hit him in the head, AP reports.

Beijing police have confirmed that the attacker was the boss of the Sanlitun store, and that the victim was in line to buy a white iPhone 4 with his mother when he was attacked, dragged more than 10 metres and beaten. Another man and woman were caught up in the stramash, according to the People's Daily Online.

Other reports claim the initial fight sparked a general melee, which led to the glass door of the Apple Store being shattered.

The store was closed early in the wake of the donnybrook, but was reopened the next day. Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman in China, said they closed for several hours on Saturday "after a group outside the store became unruly".

"The store team acted to protect themselves and our customers by closing the doors and preventing the group from entering," Wu said.

We're no strangers to Apple-mania -- or queue-induced madness for that matter -- but this definitely sounds like gadget lust taken too far. Has your passion for tech ever erupted into all-out violence? Confess in the comments below.

Image credit: Associated Press