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December 3, 2009

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Self-immolation woman resisted officials: report

A WOMAN who died after setting herself on fire to stop the demolition of her home had violently resisted law enforcement officials, an official in Chengdu said yesterday.

Tang Fuzhen, an entrepreneur in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province, and her husband Hu Changming used Molotov cocktails and rocks to expel workers at Jinniu District's bureau of law enforcement for urban management, reported China News Service, citing Zhong Changlin, the bureau chief.

Tang died on Sunday after she doused herself in petrol and lit herself on the roof of her three-story house. Her family said the eviction and demolition crews did not help, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

Zhong disputed this claim, saying the crew tried to stop her from setting herself on fire by using fire hoses to spray water on her. Zhong said Tang's family threw bricks at the crew to prevent them from rescuing the woman.

A camera caught the "horrific" self-immolation and the video clip has been swirling on Internet forums.

Tang and her husband used Molotov cocktails to stop demolition crews from entering their house in April and forced them to cancel the demolition by pouring gasoline on the crew, Zhong said.

Zhong said he felt sorry for the family. But, he added that Tang's house was an illegal building and authorities had urged the family to move since 2007. The family's demand for 8 million yuan (US$1.17 million) compensation was rejected.

After the incident, police detained Hu and his son for disrupting public services. They were not allowed to visit Tang Fuzhen in hospital before she died, said Tang Fuying, the victim's sister.

The home has since been demolished, the report said.


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