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June 28, 2013

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8 held over deaths of Shanghainese

Eight bakery workers are in police custody following the killing of four Shanghainese who were hacked to death in their store in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, the Chinese Embassy said yesterday.

The eight had been hired by the victims and were working in the store at the time of the incident, Cao Junjun, an official with the embassy, told the Xinhua news agency.

The embassy response follows a local newspaper report that four people had been arrested over the brutal killings at Koki, Port Moresby, on Monday night.

"Investigators have arrested four suspects allegedly involved in the killing and are now in police custody," Assistant Police Commissioner Simon Kauba told The National newspaper. "The suspects were captured by swift action done by the investigators and further arrests will be made soon."

However, Cao said he had learned from local police that eight suspects were being held for questioning, all of them workers at the store.

Cao said five relatives of the victims had traveled to Papua New Guinea and were being looked after by the local Chinese community.

The victims were the couple who ran the store for more than 10 years and two workers. All were from Shanghai, embassy official Yin Weijiang said.

Wang Chuanjiang, brother of store owner Wang Chuanhai, survived the attack after locking himself in a room and calling the police, Yin said.

Yin said the store was closed at the time of the attack, around 9pm on Monday, local time. Two local workers were preparing bread on the ground floor, and the victims were on the second floor.

There was a commotion on the ground floor and when two of the Chinese went to check they were attacked.

About half an hour later, the three others on the second floor went down to check, and they were attacked too. Wang managed to escape.

Police said the killers made off with up to 40,000 yuan (US$6,500) from the store's cash register but other valuable items were left untouched.

Their investigations are continuing.

Papua New Guinea recently passed legislation expanding its use of the death penalty in a bid to reverse a trend of violence and murder in the country north of Australia.


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