Villagers armed with metal bars, machetes and petrol bombs clashed with police yesterday over plans to demolish their homes. Fourteen people - eight of them police - were injured when the violence erupted in Shek Wu San Tsuen, Sheung Shui, as bulldozers tried to move in to clear the village for redevelopment. Some of the 300 riot police fired tear-gas canisters and pepper spray as they fought about 25 protesting villagers, who were demanding more compensation and better alternative housing to make way for an anti-flood project. At one point a man held a cigarette lighter to a full gas canister and threatened to blow himself up. Bulldozers moved in after police cleared the site, following a confrontation that lasted most of the day. The trouble began after Housing Department workers tried to evict the village's last nine families and eight shops at 9am. Villagers blocked a bridge over the River Indus, a subsidiary of the Ng Tung River, where the second phase of a $500 million anti-flooding project is due to start. Anti-riot police formed a wall and pushed the villagers back along the three-metre wide, 10-metre long bridge. Villagers hit back, some attacking officers with their weapons and lobbing Molotov cocktails. The uniforms of three officers caught fire but the flames were quickly doused. Firefighters sprayed water at the mob and the villagers put up flaming barricades made of furniture as police forced them back. Police then ordered the use of tear-gas. Among the 14 people arrested were Provisional Regional Councillor Wong Sing-chi, 42, and Sham Wing-kan, 45, an assistant to legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo. The pair were hit by pepper spray and needed hospital treatment. Mr Cheng claimed police had used 'excessive violence' and criticised as rigid the land resumption policy. 'They simply want to keep their homes. I cannot comprehend why hundreds of policemen are necessary.' Tai Po District Commander Chief Superintendent To Ho-kee said the villagers were out of control. 'The force was appropriate, given the circumstances at that point of time.' Police said the protest was well organised. The Housing Department agreed to postpone the removal of one furniture shop. All other buildings were pulled down. Last night a police constable, 23, was in stable condition in North District hospital with cuts to his arms. All the other injured were treated and discharged. Of those arrested, 13, aged between 26 and 70, were released on bail or surety. A 35-year-old man was detained.