Tue, Jun 19, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Police, villagers clash in China over student's death

AP , BEIJING

More than a thousand villagers in southwest China carried the body of a student to a police station and clashed with officers who they said had protected a gangster accused in the death, a human-rights group said yesterday.

The riot in Jiulong centered around the death of 15-year-old Wang Qiang, who was killed on May 13, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement.

The town's police chief is the uncle of one of the suspects, and residents and students of the town in Sichuan Province were angered because he had not been detained, the group said.

It was not immediately clear how Wang died or why news of the riot had not been released earlier. But the group said the local government had temporarily cut off phone and Internet service to keep information from leaking out.

More than 1,000 residents and students clashed with police on May 17 after marching to the station carrying Wang's body, the group said.

Ten protesters were injured in the clash, including one person who suffered from a broken arm, it said.

More than 30 people have been arrested, and Jiulong's police chief and five other officials have been suspended, it said.

The deputy principle of Jiulong Township High School, a man surnamed Lu, confirmed Wang's death yesterday and said two suspects had been arrested over the killing. It was not clear if the police chief's nephew was among those arrested.

Phones at the Jiulong Township government were busy yesterday, and no one answered at the Jiulong Public Security Bureau.

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