Vietnamese villagers free some police held over land dispute

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Vietnamese villagers in a suburban district of Hanoi have freed 15 riot police who were held over a land dispute.

The state-run online newspaper Vnexpress reported Tuesday that three others managed to escape while authorities are persuading villagers to free remaining 20 police and local officials.

The standoff began Saturday when police clashed with villagers who allege their land was illegally taken for sale by a military-run telecoms firm.

Some villagers who were arrested have been released.

Land disputes are common in Vietnam, where residents often claim that their land taken for infrastructure or other industrial or residential projects is not properly compensated.