Axe murderer kills 8

2009-01-06 09:30
Beijing - Police in central China have launched a manhunt for a love-lorn junk collector suspected in the axe murders of eight people, including a two-year-old boy, state media reported on Tuesday.

The eight victims were found on Monday in the city of Suizhou in Hubei province with head wounds that indicated an axe attack, Xinhua news agency said.

Police have named Xiong Zhenlin, a local junk collector, as the suspect in the killings, a police spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Xinhua quoted local residents as saying Xiong, 35, may have been upset after recently divorcing his wife to marry another woman, who ended up rejecting him.

The dead included the woman, a 43-year-old widow, and her young grandson, Xinhua said.

The bodies of six other people, apparently employees of Xiong, along with bloodstained hammers and axes were also found at Xiong's junkyard, it said.

It was not yet clear why the six people at the junkyard were killed, Xinhua quoted Suizhou police chief Wan Xuebin as saying.

Xiong's whereabouts were not known, according to Xinhua.

Violent crime in the nation of more than 1.3 billion people remains relatively rare.

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