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Villagers, county official beaten by 300 railway workers

(Global Times)

08:24, April 17, 2013

Nine people were hospitalized following a fight between villagers and workers of China Railway 13th Bureau Group on Sunday in Huangchuan county of Henan Province, local officials said on Monday.

The brawl was triggered by the unresolved compensation plan for land acquired for the construction of the Nanjing-Xi'an railway, the local news portal, reported on Monday.

After the villagers tried to stop the construction, some 300 workers wearing the company's yellow uniform and carrying clubs descended on Bali village around 10 am, villagers told the news portal on Sunday.

Villagers and other locals, including county official Li Lin who attempted to mediate the dispute, were beaten.

The news portal's reporter on the scene saw about 10 injured people being treated at a local hospital.

Xu Changhua, director of the village committee, was seriously injured and received emergency treatment.

The villagers said about 30 of their mobile phones were smashed by the armed workers after they used them to take photos of the violence.

Wang Zhiqiang, a driver who was taking his grandmother to the city's hospital, said some people with clubs stole his mobile phone and some 80,000 yuan ($12,936) in cash, and then pushed his car into the ditch.

Even the local police officers were scared off by the 300 armed workers.

The local government said on Monday that the case is under investigation, and both the company and village are cooperating.

This is not the first time that railway construction workers in the country have been accused of violence against locals living the path of the railway.

Last August 80 workers from China Railway Sixth Bureau Group in Anhui Province got into a fight with some contract workers who were protesting over wages they were owed for two months.

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