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Paramilitary troops defuse large China farmer protest

BEIJING -- Media reports and eyewitnesses say paramilitary troops and riot police have defused a large-scale, five-day protest by thousands of farmers who were upset about being moved off their land in central China.

State media on Thursday called the protest that began last Friday one of the largest to roil China this year. Reports say some 2,000 farmers blocked a road in the county seat of Suijiang to protest what they say was inadequate compensation for being relocated for a dam.

At times protesters surrounded and scuffled with police officials trying to persuade them to leave.

About 400 paramilitary troops, tactical unit police and militia members confronted the protesters Tuesday after warning them to leave the day before. The protesters then dispersed.

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