Five people have been killed during clashes when South-Korean police evicted a house in Seoul
At least five people have been killed in a blaze at a tower block in the South Korean capital after police stormed the building to evict residents protesting against a redevelopment plan.
Police raided the five-storey building in the Yongsan neighbourhood in the capital Seoul on Tuesday morning to break up a sit-in by some 40 people demonstrating against the planned demolition of the building and demanding compensation.
Local news reports said that the protestors fought with police, hurling Molotov cocktails at them, and that one of the burning bottles sparked a fire on the roof.
Baek Dong-san, the district police chief, told Reuters news agency that one police officer was among those found dead on the roof of the building, and one officer was missing.
More than 20 protesters and police officers were injured.
The protestors were demonstrating against a planned demolition of the building [AFP].
Baek said police had no choice but to move in because the protesters continued hurling cocktails, bricks and golf balls and spraying acid at officers and passers-by.
Dozens of tenants in the largely commercial Yongsan area, slated for major redevelopment, have been battling with police since Monday as they demand better compensation.
"Policemen were firing water cannons onto the roof of the building where protesters were throwing down Molotov cocktails to resist a possible raid," a witness at the site told Reuters.
Another witness said: "The police were going at them as if they were out to kill them," referring to the protesters.
Deadly Seoul clash sparks inquiry
Five protesters and a police officer have been killed in a blaze that broke out amid clashes in the South Korean capital Seoul.