At least six people were killed in Hebei province on Saturday when several hundred armed thugs attacked villagers who are refusing to hand over their land to an electronics factory. Dressed in green uniforms and armed with a range of weapons including guns and iron bars fitted with knives, the attackers descended on Shengyou village in Dingzhou city at 4am on Saturday. Witnesses said the mob headed for an open area of ground where 300 villagers were living in makeshift shelters. The villagers have been occupying the land since July to prevent construction on the site by the Hebei Guohua Dingzhou Electronics Factory. They fought back with spades and other farm tools during the riot which lasted more than an hour. More than 100 villagers were injured, half of them seriously. Some of the victims were elderly. Recovering in hospital with three leg wounds and a fractured finger, villager Niu Chengluan said the attackers beat everybody they saw. 'Four people used iron bars with knives to beat me. They [tried to] beat me to death,' Mr Niu told the South China Morning Post. He said the six people known to have died were all male and ranged in age from their 20s to their 60s. They were initially shot and then beaten to death with iron bars. One villager recorded the attack on video. Mr Niu said the Hebei Guohua Dingzhou Electronics Factory wanted 25 hectares of village land to build a factory and promised to pay compensation. Villagers started occupying the area when dissatisfaction with the payout process mounted. The Dingzhou Public Security Bureau confirmed the attack had taken place, but refused to comment, saying results of an investigation would be issued soon. Hebei provincial media were ordered not to cover the attack.