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Local Chinese Communist Party Chief on Trial Over Deadly Land Clash

China's Xinhua news agency reports the top Communist Party official in a northern Chinese city and 26 other officials have gone on trial for their alleged involvement in a deadly attack on a shantytown.

More than 200 people attended the opening of the trial in Hebei province.

The news agency says last June, hundreds of apparently hired thugs armed with guns, clubs and knives killed six people and injured dozens of others protesting land seizures in the village of Shengyou. Villagers were angry over the low compensation officials offered for their land.

Such disputes have become more common as Chinese developers turn residential and farm land into shopping malls, apartment buildings and other projects. Residents often accuse authorities of forcing them off land without proper compensation.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.