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Conflict had been brewing in the village of Fanaye in northern Senegal for months before clashes broke out in late October. The launch of a project by an Italian-Senegalese company to grow crops for biofuels on 20,000 acres of local land had been met with scepticism and anger by some villagers; protesters called it 'a form of slavery'. When work began on the project in September, a young man attacked a plantation worker with a sword. A local council meeting descended into violence, buildings were burned and two people died as villagers fought each other with sticks and machetes.