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Police grab army deserter's robber gang

AN army deserter is being held by police for murder and a string of armed robberies in a southwest China city.

Police have seized Wu Yong and his accomplices, the Public Security Bureau of Yibin City, Sichuan Province, announced yesterday afternoon, today's Chengdu Business Daily reported.

Wu allegedly killed a sentry at the satellite observatory in Yibin six years ago and attacked a city guard. Last month he and his accomplices robbed an expressway toll station following a similar raid in November last year.

Police said they caught Wu and his accomplice Tian Yuntao, 42, on March 24 when they were found near a toll station on the Yibin-Shuifu Highway planning a third robbery.

Wu, 31, a Yibin native, had served with the army in Handan City, Henan Province, after joining the army in December 1999. But he went AWOL.

Wu allegedly killed the sentry at the Yibin Satellite Observatory on September 11, 1999 and attacked a government guard at Yibing city on October 2 the same year. He carried out these attacks by himself.

On February 23 this year, Wu and another two armed accomplices, broke into a highway toll station. It took them three minutes to grab 49,800 yuan (US$7,284.61) in cash after threatening the collectors.

This happened again with two of Wu's gang robbing a toll station on November 11 last year.

Wu's accomplice Zhang Zhishun, 32, a native of Yunnan Province, was later seized in Shanghai. Wei Huasong, 35, also a Yibin native, surrendered to the Yibin police on March 29.


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