BEIJING (AP) — A small group of protesters has clashed with police near Tiananmen Square in China's capital, saying they were evicted from their homes to make way for reconstruction ahead of the Olympic Games.

Two dozen demonstrators scuffled with police early today in the historic Qianmen district just south of Tiananmen.

The protesters said they had been evicted because the district was being reconstructed. The area is being rebuilt into a commercial strip with businesses such as Nike, Starbucks and Rolex.

Demonstrations in and near central Beijing's Tiananmen Square are rare and generally stopped quickly by police.

China is sensitive to any public criticism of the Beijing Olympics, which begins this week. Security agents are stationed throughout the city to watch for signs of unrest.

Also, China's official Xinhua News Agency said an attack on a border patrol station on the country's frontier with Central Asia has killed 16 police officers.

Xinhua said the police-station assailants used a dump truck to ram their way into the station in Kashi and then tossed two hand grenades. Besides the dead, Xinhua said 16 officers were injured.

Xinhua, citing police, said two attackers were arrested. It did not identify them.

The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs (WEE'-gurs). The Uighurs have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule.

The attack comes four days before the opening of the Olympics in Beijing.