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Woman leaps to her death as housing disputes surge in China

GRAPHIC WARNING: This post contains a graphic image that some viewers may find disturbing. 


Xian Xiyong cries after his mother, Li Jie'e, jumped off a building and died at a demolition site in Yangji village in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China on May 10, 2012.

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Demolition workers look at a building being taken down in Yangji village on March 21, 2012, the same day that Li Jie'e's home was reportedly destroyed.

A Chinese woman leapt to her death on Thursday in apparent despair over the demolition of her home. Li Jie'e's house in Guangzhou had been knocked down on March 21, according to local media reports cited by Reuters. 

Li had been a resident of Yangji, a former village that has been swallowed up by the rapid expansion of Guangzhou, China's third-largest city with a population of over 12 million. In March, PhotoBlog reported on the desperate protests of another Yangji woman whose home had been destroyed to make way for new developments.

Hundreds of miles away in the city of Zhaotong, meanwhile, another woman was reported to have blown herself up on Thursday in a protest over the demolition of her house. The blast at a local government office killed the woman and two others.

Disputes over land rights are the leading cause of surging unrest across China, according to a study cited by Bloomberg News.


Xian, center, the husband of Li Jie'e, accompanied by his son Xiyong, right, pushes his wife's body on a transport stretcher as another relative, left, burns incense in Yangji village on May 10, 2012.