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August 14, 2009

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Crackdown hauls in guns and explosives

CHINESE police have arrested more than 10,000 suspects and confiscated more than 50,000 guns and nearly 900 tons of explosives in a weapons crackdown during the past five months, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.

The campaign against gun-related crimes and explosives began in March and will continue until China's October 1 National Day celebration, the ministry said.

The crackdown is part of a ministry effort to maintain social stability during the National Day festivities. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

A ministry official surnamed Cheng who's in charge of the effort said that 30,000 of the guns had been handed in voluntarily by the public. All the guns and explosives have been destroyed, he said.

Possession of guns by private individuals is illegal in China.

Police also confiscated 3.74 million detonators and raided 562 illegal sites where guns and explosives were being made or modified.

In one case, police arrested Wang Yanjun, a suspect on the national most-wanted list, in May. Wang allegedly led a team that had manufactured more than 280,000 detonators in north China's Shanxi Province since April 2008.

The ministry is offering rewards up to 20,000 yuan (US$2,926) to people who report information about private possession or illegal production of guns or explosives.


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