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December 12, 2011

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5 detained over violence at land protests

FIVE villagers in southern China's Guangdong Province have been detained for allegedly assaulting police and smashing property after protests turned violent.

Several officers were injured and police cars damaged in Guangdong's Lufeng City on September 21 and 22.

Reports at the time said hundreds of Lufeng residents gathered to lodge complaints about the construction of an industrial park that saw homes demolished.

The five suspects led the attacks on officers and property, according to police.

Police claim the suspects gathered other residents from surrounding villages and smashed up goods at the industrial park on September 21.

Items worth 2.1 million yuan (US$ 330,000) were damaged, police said.

Angry villagers also attacked restaurants and a knitting factory, while women, children and elderly people gathered at thoroughfares to block traffic, Guangdong media reported. Unrest escalated the following afternoon when rumors spread that children had been beaten to death by police.

Three of the suspects led a mob, attacking police stations, injuring dozens of officers and smashing their cars with stones and clubs, it is claimed.

Meanwhile, the local government said over the weekend that it has heard villagers' complaints. Order has restored and local government is now handling the issue properly, it said.

Two officials were sacked following the incident.

Land will be set aside for villagers whose homes were demolished and Lufeng City will also spend 2 million yuan improving education facilities.


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