Local officials and residents say a curfew has been imposed on
Longnan city following two days of violence between police and
A police officer kicks a protestor restrained by two fellow officers in Longnan, Gansu province.
HONG KONGAuthorities in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu
have imposed a curfew on some districts of Longnan city following two
days of violence between security forces and local residents resisting
"The whole area is under curfew," a local official who
declined to be identified said. "Any groups of more than three people
will be beaten without mercy."
He said government propaganda
cars were moving through the city following rioting Tuesday, warning
local residents not to leave their homes, to be careful what they say,
and not to gather in groups of more than three, on pain of strict
No Internet access
He said communications to the city had been cut off, and no traffic was currently moving in or out of Wu Du district.
are not allowed out, and we can't talk to anyone," he said. "The
Internet has been completely shut down here in Longnan. Nobody can get
any information out on the Web."
Nonetheless, video posted
online showed groups of police in full riot gear moving in formation
through the city streets, with piles of rocks and broken concrete at
intersections of near-deserted streets.
Residents were seen
sporadically hurling stones at security forces in the distance. Most
people hurried past, apparently anxious to get inside.
affairs bureau official said he wasn't able to discuss the topic of the
violence. "We have to be careful what we say. They are arresting
people," he said.
Thirty people were still detained in the wake
of the unrest, which involved 'more than 2,000 people,' according to a
report by the official Xinhua news agency.
say that in recent months, news about the Longnan City government
moving its municipality?s administrative center from the Wudu District
to Cheng County triggered worries and discontent among residents in the
Wudu District. Those who are especially concerned include farmers whose
land will be seized by the government but who have not been relocated
or given compensation and residents who will be forcefully evicted from
their homes, as well as land developers.
of thousands of residents made two attempts to attack the Communist
Party Office in Longnan City, from late on Nov. 18 until early the next
day. The crowd eventually grew to 50,000 people.
dispatched armed police to suppress the riots. Over 100 farmers were
injured, with several dozen severely wounded. Some witnesses said that
about two dozen farmers died in the clashes.
Zhou, an eyewitness who is a resident of Dongjiang Town, told Radio
Free Asia (RFA) that several hundred people who had been forcibly
evicted first went to the Party Office in Longnan City on Nov. 18 to
appeal to the government regarding the unreasonable eviction project,
but the appeal erupted in a massive riot.
said that by the following morning, the crowd had lost control and
started to attack the Party Office. The first clash occurred when the
authorities sent for a large number of armed police and used violence
to disperse the crowd, injuring and arresting at least a dozen farmer?s
successfully broke up the crowd at around 2 a.m. on Nov. 19. However,
the violence of the police further angered the farmers. A huge crowd of
farmers again went to the Party Office at around 9 a.m. on Nov. 19 to
demand an official response. The authorities, however, again responded
with large-scale suppression against the sizable crowd of farmers and
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