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Riot police fired tear-gas and beat demonstrators who stormed government buildings in Haimen, a major town in southern China on Tuesday – just 75 miles from the rebel village of Wukan.
Residents of Haimen, a 130,000-strong town in the province of Guangdong, are demanding a coal-fired plant be moved, claiming it is damaging their health.
Web photos show a large gathering of people and riot police in a public square, and it is reported about 30,000 people in the town have gone on strike
Demonstrators are claiming a 15-year-old boy had been killed and more than 100 others badly beaten by riot police, but this has yet to be confirmed.
The rebellious village of Wukan has held a quiet memorial service for one of its villagers, whose death ignited one of the most serious revolts that China has faced in recent years.
The 20,000 villagers in Wukan do not know when 42-year-old Xue Jinbo died and have not been able to claim his body. But they believe police brutality killed him.
Mr Xue, who was negotiating with the local government over the seizure of Wukan's farmland, was snatched by an unmarked van last Friday. Two days later, he died in police custody.
On Friday morning, villagers gathered outside Mr Xue's house for what one source described as a "quiet ceremony".
"There was no marching, no protesting, no slogan shouting," said the villager, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals. "It was two hours of quiet condolence, of reflection on his life."
Wukan had been protesting over the sale of its farmland by local officials since September. However, it was Mr Xue's kidnap and death that has galvanised the villagers, leading them to eject the police and local Communist party and endure a police siege that has cut off food supplies.