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China police say developer, village official ordered fire that killed farmer guarding his land

Police in eastern China say arsonists directed by a real estate developer and a village official set a fire that killed a farmer.

The fire last week in Dujiatuan village in Shandong province also injured three other farmers. Media reports have said villagers were taking turns guarding their farms because they feared they would be seized.

Land grabs and home demolitions are widely considered China's single biggest source of social conflict and are expected to intensify following a government plan to expand and build more cities.

Police said late Tuesday that the four people who set Friday's fire and then ran away were acting on the instructions of a representative of a local real estate company and builder, and the head of the village committee.