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The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident in Chinese, were student-led popular demonstrations in Beijing in the spring of 1989 that received broad support from city residents and exposed deep splits within China's political leadership but were forcibly suppressed by hardline leaders who ordered the military to enforce martial law in the country's capital. The crackdown that initiated on June 3–4 became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre or the June 4 Massacre as troops with assault rifles and tanks inflicted thousands of casualties on unarmed civilians trying to block the military’s advance on Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, which student demonstrators had occupied for seven weeks. The scale of military mobilization and the resulting bloodshed were unprecedented in the history of Beijing, a city with a rich tradition of popular protests in the 20th century. Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks though appear to confirm the Chinese authorities' longstanding position that no students were killed in the Square itself. Officially, the Chinese government condemned the protests as a "counterrevolutionary riot", and has prohibited all forms of discussion or remembrance of the events within China. Even the memoirs of leaders who supported the crackdown are banned. Due to the lack of information from China, many aspects of the events remain unknown or unconfirmed. Estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to the thousands. (via Freebase)