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November 18, 2009

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Police kill family's kidnapper

POLICE shot and killed a kidnapper and rescued four hostages in a 24-hour gunpoint standoff yesterday in a Zhejiang Province city known for its wealthy business people.

The kidnapper, a native of Jiangxi Province surnamed Lin, apparently targeted Chen Anle, a shoe factory owner in Wenzhou, because he lived in an expensive villa community.

Wenzhou police said Lin broke into the family's home around 6am on Monday. He tied up the businessman, his wife, their 15-year-old son and a maid and demanded 3 million yuan (US$439,399) in exchange for their freedom, police told a news conference yesterday morning.

Chen's wife somehow managed to call police three hours after the ordeal began, and more than 100 officers were dispatched to the Dianya Garden complex, where the Chen family's villa is located.

Police sent in hostage negotiators and even persuaded Lin to release Chen, the provincial news Website reported. The kidnapper confined the other three hostages to the first floor with their hands and feet tied.

For hours, the kidnapper remained near the hostages, waving a pistol at them while revealing explosives under his clothes, a neighbor said in Internet postings.

Meanwhile, a special squad of officers used a similar house in the residential development to work out an attack plan designed to use Chen as bait to distract the kidnapper.

But Lin became more aggressive as time went by, and police said they decided they needed to end the standoff, fearing the hostages might be hurt. At about 7:05am yesterday, four officers rushed in and shot Lin in the head and chest, allowing the hostages to escape unharmed.

A pistol and two bags of homemade explosives were found in Lin's possession, according to the report.


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