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December 14, 2009

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Man slays 13, mental illness cited

A MAN seized yesterday morning in Hunan Province on suspicion of killing 13 of his close relatives, including his father, and setting fire to six houses had a long history of mental illness, police said.

Liu Aibing, 34, allegedly carried out the killing spree with two shotguns and a hatchet before dawn on Saturday in his home village in Anhua County of Hunan's Yiyang City, China National Radio reported yesterday.

The only critically injured victim was being treated at a hospital.

Liu was captured on a hill and held by police at 6:50am yesterday in neighboring Wutong Village.

An officer at Anhua County's Public Security Bureau said Liu was taken into custody after police surrounded him.

According to villagers, Liu Aibing's cousin Liu Shushen was the first victim when Liu Aibing shot him at about 4am on Saturday.

Liu Aibing had visited Liu Shushen on Friday night and stayed at his home that night, Xinhua news agency quoted villagers as saying.

Some villagers said Liu Aibing had old grievances with Liu Shushen and had a verbal dispute with him a month ago, as he thought Liu Shushen had taken advantage of his father's business of selling logs and bamboos, Xinhua reported.

Liu Shushen often helped Liu Aibing's father, Liu Bifang, cut down his trees or bamboos and sell them, but Liu Aibing thought the cousin played tricks in the business, said villagers.

Liu Aibing killed all three members of Liu Shushen's brother's family and set fire to their house.

The blaze woke villagers, including Liu Jiesu, his three younger brothers, and son.

As they returned from the fire site, they were ambushed by Liu Aibing, who shot at several of them and then chopped them with a hatchet.

Witnesses said Liu Aibing had two shotguns on his back and carried the hatchet. He waved the hatchet when the bullets were used up, a witness said.

Liu Aibing then arrived at a cousin's home, killing the couple and setting fire on their house.

He then moved to another cousin's house, killing all three there and burning their house down.

His final target was his uncle's house, where his father lived. The fire he set there killed his father. The uncle was not home.

Among the deaths, the eldest was 86-year-old Que Meixiu, a great aunt of Liu Aibing, while the youngest was a nephew of Liu Aibing. He was 6, according to Xinhua.

About two weeks ago, another man was captured in southern China's island province of Hainan on suspicion of murdering six of his family members.

Li Lei admitted that he was responsible for the stabbing spree that claimed the lives of his two children, wife, parents and younger sister in Beijing.


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