China

China village clash: Four workers burned to death

Villagers carry police shields taken from police injured during clashes at Fuyou village in Jinning county, Kunming, Yunnan province, 15 October 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Residents at Fuyou village took police shields from security personnel during the clashes

Four construction workers were burned to death by villagers in a clash in south-west China, authorities have confirmed.

The incident at a building site in Fuyou village, Yunnan province, left six workers and two villagers dead.

The workers were building a trade and logistics centre that residents were reportedly unhappy about.

China's rapid development has led to several cases in recent years of villagers resisting land deals.

An official from the provincial capital Kunming said hundreds of people were involved in the Fuyou clash, and police had difficulty entering the site, according to newspaper Jinghua Shibao.

Pictures of Wednesday's clash, showing the bodies of men who appeared to have been burned to death, were circulated on social media.

The official confirmed that the pictures were real, and said that of the six workers killed, four had been burned and two were beaten to death.

Villagers told Jinghua that the two villagers who died were beaten with steel pipes.

They added that there had been previous clashes over the construction project since it was approved in 2011 because villagers were unhappy with the amount of compensation.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Villagers armed with sticks have been guarding the entrance to Fuyou

A villager interviewed earlier by China National Radio had claimed that the developer had refused to show villagers proof of approval and legal paperwork for the project.

He also claimed 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 by China National Radio.

Over the past decade China has seen several village uprisings over deals made by state-appointed local officials, who sell off large tracts of land to private developers.

These include the 2011 protest by villagers in Wukan over the lack of compensation, which eventually saw local officials driven out.

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