China police shoot man dead at construction site dispute

A photo released by the offical Sina Weibo account of Luoyang city's public security bureau showing some men about to attack police officers at a construction site.
A photo released by the offical Sina Weibo account of Luoyang city's public security bureau showing some men about to attack police officers at a construction site.PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK/SINA WEIBO

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese police shot dead one man and injured another during an apparent protest at a construction site in central China, police said on Sunday.

Around a dozen people on Saturday "gathered at a construction site in the city and blocked construction vehicles amid disputes", said police in the city of Luoyang.

Officers killed a man after some of the group - who were not carrying firearms - "assaulted the police," and attempted to grab their weapons, they added, saying two warning shots had been fired. Another man was injured and is in hospital.

The reason for the dispute was not given.

Chinese farmers often protest outside building sites attempting to win compensation for seized land, which local governments sell to developers as a source of income.

Regular police in major Chinese cities began patrolling with guns for the first time last year in response to a deadly mass knifing blamed on separatists from the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

State-media has reported a number of fatal shootings by police since the policy was enacted.

Officers in the city of Xian last month shot dead a man who allegedly attacked several people at a train station with a concrete brick.

In May, the shooting of a man at a train station in northeast China prompted a media outcry about the apparent use of excessive force by police.

State-media later released showed footage of Xu brawling with an officer before being shot.

Gun violence is comparatively rare in China, where the government tightly restricts ownership of firearms.