3 police, villager die in clash over land in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Residents of a Hanoi suburb used grenades, firebombs and spears Thursday in an attempt to stop soldiers from building a wall around a military airport on land they say is private, leaving three police and a villager dead, officials said.

The confrontation occurred in Dong Tam, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement. It said police arrested several people involved in the “riot” and would launch an investigation.

“The situation in Dong Tam village is under control. The authorities will continue their presence at the scene to keep order,” said Gen. To An Xo, spokesman of the ministry.

A clash over the same land dispute two years ago resulted in villagers holding more than 30 police hostage for a week.

Land disputes are common in Vietnam because the government does not recognize private land ownership. Land can be taken for infrastructure and investment projects and disagreements over compensation often lead to prolonged disputes.

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