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Five villagers injured in E China land dispute
Updated: 2008-12-15 16:27

HUZHOU -- Five villagers were hospitalized with injuries after a land dispute turned violent on Monday morning in Huzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, witnesses said.

Two of the villagers were seriously injured, and local police said they had started investigating the incident.

According to the witnesses, the developer, the Wanjia Company, was involved in a clash with more than 100 residents of Jinan Village, an urban resettlement project. A witness surnamed Zhao said that a number of men apparently hired by Wanjia had struck the villagers with shovels.

Wanjia executives have been unavailable for comment so far.

Xinhua reporters saw more than a dozen shovels lying on the ground in front of the Yangguangcheng housing estate. Villagers claimed these had been used in the clash.

Construction of the housing estate, which was meant to settle the villagers in an urbanization project, started in 2004. However, it was delayed because of disputes between Wanjia and the villagers, who have accused the company of altering the blueprint illegally and trying to build stores in a greenbelt area.