Vietnam officials 'seriously injured' in land row

Hundreds of villagers stormed a local government office in Vietnam, smashing furniture and seriously injuring two officials in connection with a land dispute, state media said on Thursday.

The violence was prompted by the arrest of a 27-year-old man for allegedly assaulting two officials in central Ha Tinh province as part of a growing row over claims of corrupt land seizures, the Thanh Nien newspaper said.

The authorities have launched a probe into the rampage, which lasted from late Tuesday until early Wednesday and left two local Communist Party officials hospitalised and several others lightly wounded, the report said.

A growing number of land disputes between local officials and residents have ended in violence in Vietnam this year.

A high-profile case of a farmer defending his land with home-made explosives dominated headlines in January and prompted the prime minister to pledge reform.

Disputes over land are a sensitive issue in the communist nation, where all land is owned by the state and usage rights are not always clear or protected.

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