Man kills judges, himself in China

2010-06-01 17:00

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Beijing - A bank security guard armed with a machine gun opened fire in a central China court building on Tuesday, shooting three judges dead and wounding three others before killing himself, the government said.

Qu Xiaojun, a 46-year-old guard for Postal Savings Bank of China, walked into an office in the courthouse in the city of Yongzhou with the machine gun and two pistols, a brief notice on the city government website said.

He then opened fire on the judges as they met to discuss a legal case, it said.

The state-run Procuratorate Daily said Qu had delivered a sum of cash to a bank branch before going to the courthouse.

He committed suicide after the attack, the motive for which was not made clear by the reports.

Calls to the courthouse and to the city government went unanswered.

Deadly shootings are extremely rare in China, where private gun ownership is banned. However, some bank security personnel in charge of transporting cash are armed with guns.

The incident followed a spate of bloody attacks on young schoolchildren around China since late March that have left 17 people dead, including 15 students, and scores injured.

Experts say the senseless assaults reveal China was struggling to come to grips with rapid social change following decades of booming economic growth.

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