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Vietnamese court sentences farmers to 5 years for fighting state eviction squad

Two fish farmers who fought back against a state eviction squad have been convicted of attempted murder and sentenced by a Vietnamese court five years in prison.

Doan Van Vuon and his brother used homemade guns and landmines against police and army officers as they tried to seize their land last year, earning them folk hero status among many in Vietnam, an autocratic and corruption-plagued nation.

Presiding judge Pham Duc Tuyen ruled Friday the men were guilty of attempted murder. Another brother and a nephew were sentenced to two years and three-and-a-half in jail.

Land evictions are a leading driver of public anger in Vietnam, a one-party state where citizens have limited freedoms.

Seven officers were injured during the operation to take Vuon's land.