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Police detain suspects in coal mine clash

POLICE in Linxian County of Shanxi Province have detained 24 suspects who were allegedly involved in a violent clash last week over the ownership of a coal mine.

Four people died and 14 were injured during the fighting, reported today.

The security team leader of Shanxi Sanxing Coal & Coke Co Ltd, Li Baomin, organized a group of people, most of them ex-prison convicts, to beat villagers of Linxian County over the ownership of the coal mine.

Li surrendered to police on Sunday. His younger brother, vice director of the public security bureau of Linxian County, was suspended from his position due to the fight, the report said.

The legal representative of the company Shi Jinshan committed suicide afterward, according to Caijing.

In 1984 Baijiamao Village ran the operation as a group-owned one coal mine producing less than 30,000 tons annually.

Villager Cheng Pingshun ran the mine for the village until 1997 when the village contracted it to Shuangyong Coal & Coke Co Ltd for 50 years, the report said.

Shuangyong transferred the ownership of the coal mine to Sanxing in 1992. By the end of 2008, Sanxing had expanded the mine to produce 900,000 tons annually and turned it into a limited company rather than the original group-owned mine.

However, the village won the return of the coal mine in court at the end of June this year.

Four days after the brawl, Shanxi Higher People's Court upheld the original judgment.


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