News24

5 die in China New Year row blast

2012-01-23 08:46

Beijing - New Year festivities in China ended in tragedy for one family when a cousin set off explosives at table over a land dispute, killing himself and four others, state media and a neighbour said on Monday.

The man, surnamed Liao, had travelled home to his village in the central province of Hunan for the first time in years to celebrate the Lunar New Year - the most important holiday of the year for the Chinese - the Xinhua news agency said.

But on Sunday - new year’s eve - he burst into his cousin's house in Tielu village around midday when family members were seated around a table eating a feast, and detonated explosives he had brought with him, the report said.

"The cousins had argued for a long time over ownership of a piece of land," a woman surnamed Xie -- who lives just 100m from the house where the explosion occurred - told AFP by phone.

"The younger Liao burst into the house of his cousin, who is more than 60 years old, with explosives on him and detonated them," she said.

"We heard a loud noise and windows of houses nearby broke."

According to the Xinhua report, Liao died in the explosion, as did his cousin, the cousin's parents and a child, and six people were injured.

The tragedy came as China's nearly 1.35 billion people welcomed the Year of the Dragon with huge firework displays, feasts and lion and dragon dances - the start of a week-long holiday for most in the country.