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China Cracks Down on Local Officials in Wake of Riots, Bombs

Officials in central China’s Hubei province were suspended or detained after protests last week sparked by the death of a local councilman, reflecting rising public anger at abuse of power and a widening income gap.

At least five officials in Lichuan were detained or suspended following the June 4 death in police custody of Ran Jianxin, a former head of the city’s anti-corruption bureau who was being questioned over bribery, a government statement said. Photographs purporting to show Ran’s beaten body circulated on the Internet, and his family claimed he had been punished because of earlier allegations of corruption against senior officials over a land deal, the Associated Press reported,