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Official suspended after woman sets herself on fire

AN urban management official in southwestern China has been suspended in an investigation into the death of a woman who set herself on fire to stop her home being demolished.

Zhong Changlin, the head of Chengdu City's Jinniu District's bureau of law enforcement for urban management, was suspended for his part in the death of Tang Fuzhen.

Tang died after she lit gasoline she poured on herself on top of her building when bulldozers and demolition crews began work about 5am on November 13, the city spokesman told a press conference late on Thursday night.

Zhong's "ineffective leadership and poor judgment" caused the tragedy, the spokesman added.

He insisted that 47-year-old victim Tang was "violently resisting" the law with her actions. Eight family members including Tang's husband and son are still under detention for disrupting public services.

Tang and her husband Hu Changming used Molotov cocktails and rocks to expel demolition workers from entering their illegal three-story building. The government said officials are investigating why Tang lost control and killed herself.

The detained family members were not allowed to visit Tang in hospital before she died, said Tang Fuying, the victim's sister.

The family was holding out for 8 million yuan (US$1.17 million) to move.


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