BUDAPEST, NOV. 22 -- Thousands of Romanians enraged by wage cuts, energy shortages and failed crops stormed and burned a city hall and slit a policeman's throat in riots last weekend against the communist government of Nicolae Ceausescu, news reports and western sources said today.
Most of the violence occurred in the city of Brasov, 100 miles northeast of Bucharest, western sources said. The Bild am Sonntag newspaper in Hamburg, West Germany, also said bloody riots erupted in other parts of the country, but gave no details.
Western sources in Bucharest, reached by telephone from this Hungarian capital, said about 10,000 people were involved in the riots, which prompted authorities to impose an Army and police blockade around Brasov.
"It was impossible to get into the city for some hours after the incidents," said one source in the Romanian capital. The blockade was later lowered and diplomats who this weekend visited Brasov, a city of 334,000, said they saw no sign of troops.
The newspaper said that a week ago, 20,000 factory workers armed with crowbars, axes and broken bottles stormed the Brasov city hall and the Communist Party headquarters. They set fire to the city hall.
During the rampage, rioters also slit a policeman's throat, looted stores, torched automobiles and marched by the thousands through the streets, chanting "Down with the party. We want freedom. Kill Ceausescu," the newspaper said.
Bild am Sonntag said Brasov remained in a state of siege yesterday. It did not say if the policeman was killed. Western sources in Bucharest said there were reports a policeman was killed in Brasov.