Six people were killed and eight badly wounded after several hundred hired thugs clashed with residents of a village in Hebei province over a land dispute, the Agence France Presse reported, citing Beijing News. The men were allegedly hired by the local Hebei Guohua Power Company to intimidate the villagers who have refused to accept land compensation since 2003 from the company which hopes to build a power plant on 26 hectares of village land. The hired men reportedly ravaged Shengyou village with rifles, clubs, sharpened pipes and other weapons. Since China's land is owned by the state, many say local officials are profiting from their powers over land use rights.
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