Two instigators have been detained after a protest against the demolition of a half-built church in Hangzhou , Zhejiang province , a local official confirmed yesterday. But Qiu Youlai, head of the United Front Department in Xiaoshan district, denied overseas reports that some villagers were injured in last Saturday's protest. Xinhua quoted Mr Qiu as saying local officials spent more than 10 days trying to persuade residents of Xiaoshan's Cheluwan village to build the church elsewhere, but were unsuccessful. The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy earlier reported that at least five villagers were detained after more than 500 armed police were sent to tear down the unapproved building last Saturday. A spokesman for the Cheluwan village committee said the half-built church was illegal because it did not have the committee's approval. 'It has been torn down completely,' said the spokesman, who declined to give his name. 'It was an illegal structure built without official approval.' The spokesman confirmed that a crowd of about 6,000 people - mostly Protestants who did not worship at the state-sanctioned church - gathered on Saturday and some tried to stop the police sent to knock down the building. Villagers contacted yesterday said more than a dozen were injured in scuffles with police. 'An old lady who must be more than 80 years old was thrown to the ground after she tried to stop a police car entering the [building] site. Others were beaten up or taken away,' a villager said. The village committee spokesman said the building was located on land set aside for 'new socialist countryside' projects - a rural construction campaign - and the illegal building would be a 'disgrace' if it was built. Mr Qiu confirmed that the local government had earmarked the land for the construction of a commercial centre. Xinhua said Xiaoshan district had more than 80,000 Protestants.