BEIJING (AP) -- Armed with guns and shields, hundreds of riot police sealed off a southern Chinese village after fatally shooting demonstrators and searched for the protest organizers, villagers said Friday. Although security forces often use tear gas and truncheons to disperse demonstrators, it is extremely rare for them to fire into a crowd - as they did in putting down pro-democracy demonstrations in 1989 near Tiananmen Square. Hundreds, if not thousands, were killed. During the demonstration Tuesday in Dongzhou, a village in southern Guangdong province, thousands of people gathered to protest the amount of money offered by the government as compensation for land to be used to construct a wind power plant. Police started firing into the crowd and killed several people, mostly men, villagers reached by telephone said Friday. The death toll ranged from two to 10, they said, and many remained missing. State media have not mentioned the incident and both provincial and local governments have repeatedly refused to comment. This is typical in China, where the ruling Communist Party controls the media and lower-level authorities are leery of releasing information without permission from the central government. The number of protests in China's vast, poverty-stricken countryside has risen in recent months as anger comes to a head over land seizures, corruption and a yawning wealth gap that experts say now threatens social stability. The government says about 70,000 such conflicts occurred last year, although many more are believed to go unreported. The clashes also have become increasingly violent, with injuries sustained on both sides and huge amounts of damage done to property as protesters vent their frustration in face of indifferent or bullying authorities. All the villagers reached by The Associated Press said they were nervous and scared, and most did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. One man said the situation was still "tumultuous."....... I'll wait for moveon.org, and Ms Huffington to condemn this, and maybe even the U.N. will impose some of it's scary sanctions. After all, the olympics will be there, soon.