Asia

Hanoi mayor, villagers meet in bid to end hostage crisis

The mayor of Vietnam's capital has met with representatives from a village on the outskirts of the city trying to secure the release of more than a dozen policemen and officials who villagers have been holding hostage over a land dispute.

The standoff began a week ago when police clashed with villagers who allege that their farmland was illegally taken for sale by a military-run telecoms company.

Nearly a dozen villagers were arrested. Villagers then took as many as 38 policemen and officials hostage. So far, 16 have been released and three managed to escape.

The state-run online newspaper Vnexpress said some 50 village representatives were selected for talks Saturday with Hanoi Mayor Nguyen Duc Chung at the village government building.