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Vietnam Court Sentences 2 Brothers over Killing of 3 Policemen

A Vietnamese court sentenced two brothers to death and the other 27 people on trial were given sentences ranging from life imprisonment to 15 months suspended for their roles in the high-profile killings of three policemen in a clash over land rights on January.

Le Dinh Cong and his younger brother Le Dinh Chuc helped mastermind resistance against the police, the court ruled.

Their brothers' father, Le Dinh Kinh, 83, was shot dead by police during the January clash at Dong Tam, a small rice-farming community next to a military air base, where authorities attempted to build a wall that the villagers said encroached on their land.

The Dong Tam dispute has yet to be resolved. It came to a head on Jan. 8, when police shot and killed Kinh, a village elder and retired local official. Villagers said police raided the village and killed Kinh in his bedroom.

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security said the three policemen were burnt to death by villagers armed with hand grenades, petrol bombs, knives and bricks in a pre-planned attack.

A ministry statement after the verdict said the defendants' acts were "extremely dangerous for society and seriously violated legitimate state activities".

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