15 Dec 2011

Village sealed off after more protests

9:21 am on 15 December 2011

Roads are sealed off to a village in the southern province of Guangdong, China, where land-rights protests have intensified after the death of a villager in police custody.

Residents of Wukan accuse officials there of illegal land-grabs.

The BBC reports this latest unrest was sparked by the detention and death of Xue Jinbo, a villager who was acting as a village representative.

Internet images show several thousand people holding banners and protesting.

The government said on Monday that he had died of a "sudden illness" on the third day of his detention.

The Xinhua news agency says an official report into the death dismissed suggestions that Mr Xue had been "beaten to death by police".

Examiners apparently found "no serious wounds" on the body apart from a few bruises on his wrists and knees.

But villagers still are questioning the cause of death and want the body returned.

The BBC reports the unrest began in September when the villagers went on a rampage.