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Mob violence leaves nine dead at China mine

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21, 2010
Police have arrested 10 people, including rival coal mine owners, after mob violence that left nine dead and 48 injured in southwest China, state media reported.

The violence involving explosives and gunfire broke out after an underground shaft from one mine broke into a competitor's in Yunnan province, a report by the official China News Service posted on the State Work Safety Administration's website said.

Zheng Chunyun, owner of Yuejin mine, allegedly hired thugs to attack the Xiaosongdi mine on Thursday.

"We were ambushed with an explosion," one of the injured, who was not identified, was quoted as saying in a Shanghai Daily report.

The was an explosion and a crack of gunfire then people started falling to the ground, the China News Service said.

Four people died instantly and five died in hospital, the agency said.

Eighty people armed with steel pipes and knives -- allegedly hired by Zheng -- then immediately descended into the mine, it added.

Yunnan media reported Sunday that bullet wounds were found on the bodies and guns were found at the scene.

Police have been stationed at the hospital and around the mine amid fears that a retaliatory attack could escalate the violence, China News Service said.

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