A farmer in southwest China killed a village leader in a suicide bombing that also seriously injured nine other local officials following a land dispute April 15. Yue Xiaobao detonated explosives strapped to his body as he approached officials from Lishan village, Yunnan province, the Beijing Times reported. The attack came after village leaders had destroyed Yue’s crop of sweet potatoes and tobacco, a leading cash crop in the region. Yue carried out the attack while officials were on an inspection tour of local farmlands. Yue and Lishan village leader Ren Xuecai were killed immediately.
Land rights have become one of China’s most pressing social issues in recent years as officials implement land-use policies unpopular with local residents. As China’s real estate market has boomed, many residents accuse officials of colluding with developers to cash in on the hot property market. (AFP, April 17)