Reports: Chinese Police Kill Three AWOL Soldiers, Wound One

Posted November 10th, 2011 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say police have killed three soldiers and wounded a fourth who fled from their base in northeast China with an assault rifle and almost 800 rounds of ammunition.

The reports say at least one police officer was wounded in a gun battle with the soldiers Thursday.

No motive was offered for the actions of the soldiers, who fled from their base in Jilin province early Wednesday and were tracked down Thursday in neighboring Liaoning province. However police cautioned banks and jewelry stores in the region to be on the alert for the men.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights noted the Chinese military has begun weeding its ranks of soldiers who are under age or have had discipline problems. Police were quoted saying three of the soldiers were aged 19 or younger.

The Information Center also said families of the men had their telephones cut off and were reported to have been removed from their homes.