Dakar - A disputed biofuels project in northern Senegal has triggered violent clashes between villagers, leaving one person dead and two seriously wounded, police said on Wednesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a police officer said residents of Fanaye village “fought with sticks and machetes” in disagreement over the project.

Fanaye is situated in the Senegal River valley, near the Mauritanian border, one of the country's main areas of agricultural production.

Local media explained that some villagers were angry that thousands of hectares of land had been given to an Italian who wanted to produce biofuels, sparking fears over the loss of grazing land and displacement of villages.

Senegal has in recent years pushed the idea of using its land for biofuel production, with the backing of Brazil and fervent support of President Abdoulaye Wade. - Sapa-AFP