Villagers in south China turn on police; 27 hurt

BEIJING (AP) - Villagers in southern China attacked policemen who were seeking a pair of suspects, injuring 27 officers, state media said Wednesday.

The injured officers were hospitalized in the Yunnan provincial capital of Kunming, including one in critical condition, the Xinhua News Agency said.

The violence took place after police traveled to the province's Jincheng township on Tuesday looking for two people suspected of illegal detention and intentional injury, Xinhua said.

As the officers were leaving the area, about 200 residents blocked the highway in the village of Guangji, surrounding 11 officers and three police vehicles and preventing them from leaving.

Violence broke out when police reinforcements arrived and were quickly surrounded.

Xinhua said the last 13 officers held were unable to leave the village until Wednesday afternoon. It said no injuries among villagers were reported and made no mention of arrests.

Calls to police and county government offices rang unanswered Wednesday.

It wasn't clear why the villagers were angered or what was behind the alleged crimes the two suspects were being sought for. However, most such incidents in rural China are caused by illegal land seizures and anti-pollution protests, which can quickly turn violent and spin out of control.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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