Chinese Internet users, asked to probe the death of a man in custody who police say ran into a wall playing hide-and-seek blindfolded, repaid the local government's faith by hacking into its Web site and leaving bizarre messages.

Authorities in the southwestern province of Yunnan invited Internet users last week to investigate the death of Li Qiaoming, 24, who died from a severe brain injury days after being sent to hospital from a detention center in Jinning county.

The death of Li, arrested for cutting down trees, had been widely questioned online.

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Internet users hacked into the Jinning government Web site on Tuesday, state media reported, replacing links with a series of odd phrases.

"Push-ups, buying sauce, hide-and-seek, the three master works of the martial world," the phrases said, repeated a number of times, according to report carried on Xinhua news agency's Web site.

No explanation was provided.

Yunnan authorities have come under fire from media commentators and legal experts who have branded the investigation as shambolic and questioned its legality.

An investigation team including journalists and Internet users had submitted a 7,000-word report to authorities after touring the detention center and speaking with inmates this week, the China Daily said.

But the report did not shed any new light on the case, angering other Internet users who described it as "meaningless," the paper said.

Li's father had received 1,000 yuan ($145) in "consolation money" from local authorities, the Beijing News said in a separate report.

The paper quoted a Yunnan propaganda official as saying the investigation could yield a result "this week at the earliest."