11/08/2011, 00.00
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China: three brothers set themselves on fire to protest land expropriation

The incident happened in Hebei. Local authorities have illegally expropriated the wheat fields of a village, sending a team of 300 armed thugs. The brothers are hospitalized, one of them is in critical condition.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Three peasant brothers set themselves on fire to protest the forcible expropriation of their land in the province of Hebei, northern China, according to local sources and local authorities. The three brothers are hospitalized in serious condition with extensive burns all over their bodies. One of them is in critical condition.

The desperate incident occurred on November 3, when local authorities sent a team of about 300 thugs with heavy equipment like bulldozers and excavators to expropriate a wheat field of 400 mu (66 acres), in the village of Peipozhuang in Yongnian County. "The nickname of the three brothers is Bai, and all three set themselves on fire," said a resident of the village, whose name is Yiu. "They flattened 400 mu of our fields. Thugs hired by the local government, armed with sticks and iron bars. "

The villagers, with their bare hands, clashed with the emissaries of the local government and many of them were injured. Liu said that the farmers who had lost their land saw no future, since they had lost their livelihoods. The local authorities who ordered the expropriation, apparently, did not have the necessary to carry it out.

The three brothers set themselves on fire to protest the violence. The other villagers threw earth over the three to extinguish the flames. They were admitted to hospital in Handan, and one of the three is in critical condition. Two policemen who were present did nothing. But the families of the three brothers were placed under surveillance. The expropriation of land started in May, according to Liu.

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