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3 villagers killed during riot at power plant
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-19 05:20

Three villagers were killed and eight others injured by police during a riot on December 6 when hundreds of people, instigated by a few, attacked a wind-power plant in South China's Guangdong Province.

The serious incident of violence was orchestrated by a few suspects with the aim of burning and destroying the power plant as well attacking police at the site, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, quoting a spokesman for the Shanwei government in Guangdong.

An investigation into the cause and the aftermath of the incident is under way, said the spokesman, who was not identified.

The three men killed by police were Lin Yidui, 26; Jiang Guangge, 35 and Wei Jin, 31, the report said, adding that eight people were hospitalized during the riot.

The cause of the incident can be traced back to June, when a few people in Dongzhoukeng Village in the city of Shanwei incited some villagers to seek more compensation for the land taken by the government for construction of the power plant, said the spokesman.

In the next few months, the instigators used illegal radio broadcasts urging villagers to attack guards at the power plant and blocked the road to the plant for 84 days, causing a loss of hundreds of millions of yuan, according to the spokesman.

The spokesman blamed three villagers for organizing the riots and identified them as Huang Xijun, Huang Xirang and Lin Hanru, who were detained by police on December 11.

Huang Xijun, who ran for director of the village Party committee in June this year, used firecrackers to explode the ballot box because he feared he would not get enough votes to win the election. He then began to incite others to join in the riot in order to avoid being implicated for distorting the village election.

On December 6, hundreds of villagers rushed to another wind power plant 8 kilometres away from Dongzhoukeng, smashing, destroying and burning equipment and setting up roadblocks and hurling home-made bombs at police.

The report said that the police commander, who "was forced to fire warning shots" to subdue the crowd, had been arrested and that the darkness and chaos were to blame for the killings.

Social order has been restored in the village and construction of the power plant has resumed, the official said.

The violence was one of the deadliest clashes in recent years between local governments and villagers over the compensation for land, reports said.

(China Daily 12/19/2005 page1)

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