China

China building site clash leaves eight dead

Villagers hold banners and placards during a protest rally by residents of Wukan, a fishing village in the southern province of Guangdong, as they demand the government take action over illegal land grabs and the death in custody of a local leader on 19 December 2011. Image copyright AFP
Image caption One of the most high-profile cases of villagers resisting land deals took place in 2011 in Wukan in southern china

A clash between construction workers and villagers in the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan has left eight people dead, say state media.

Another 18 people were injured, one seriously, said Xinhua news agency.

The incident took place at Fuyou village about 26km (16 miles) south of the provincial capital, Kunming.

The workers were building a trade and logistics centre, and local reports said residents had been unhappy with the project.

Xinhua said among the dead were six construction workers and two villagers and that local police have "vowed harsh punishment".

A villager interviewed by China National Radio said that construction of the centre was first announced in 2011.

The villager claimed that the developer had refused to show villagers proof of approval and legal paperwork for the project, and that the only road in and out of the village had been sold to the developer as well.

County officials declined to comment on the allegations when approached for comment by China National Radio, and said the authorities were still investigating.

China's rapid development has led to several cases in recent years of villagers resisting land deals, where state-appointed local officials sell off large tracts of land to private developers.

In November 2004, paramilitary troops put down an uprising for about 100,000 farmers in Sichuan, and in 2007 up to 20,000 rural workers clashed with police in Hunan.

One of the most recent high-profile cases is of Wukan, which in 2011 saw thousands of villagers protesting over the selling of their land without proper compensation. Local officials were driven out and villagers held their own elections.

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