Contractors shoot villager dead

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 October, 2008, 12:00am

A villager was killed and six others wounded in Shanwei , Guangdong, this week when building contractors opened fire on them during a dispute.

A report posted on the official website of the Shanwei city government yesterday said the villagers had been shot on Wednesday by contractors of the Huahui Metropolis District, a community development under construction.

Police were still investigating and pursuing suspects, it said.

The incident took place when dozens of people from neighbouring Guantang village began fighting with the contractors. The reason for their dispute is not known.

Both sides were armed with home-made weapons - in the case of the contractors, guns.

City government leaders sent an emergency taskforce to Guantang to restore calm and comfort victims and their relatives, and they ordered police to investigate the reasons for the dispute, the website said.

Communist Party and municipal officials in Shanwei had been on the alert since the riots, it said. Villagers gathered outside the government building the night after the incident and again on Thursday night, but they dispersed after officials promised them justice would be served.

The six injured in the shooting were reported to be in stable condition in hospital.

Shanwei is one of several unstable areas in Guangdong where bloody conflicts over land disputes often occur. Land values have soared in the past two decades.

Residents have become accustomed to taking up arms against anyone they believe may harm their interests.

In one of the worst flare-ups, police shot dead three villagers involved in a land dispute in Dongzhou village in December 2005.