Man shot after kidnapping girl in Beijing

08:34, May 04, 2010      

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Case is the latest in a string of assaults against children

BEIJING - A man was shot dead by police on Monday morning after he kidnapped a 5-year-old girl in downtown Beijing and refused to respond to police persuasion, authorities said.

The kidnapping occurred at 11:20 am at Caiyuan Street of the Xuanwu district and police rushed to the scene after receiving reports at 11:24 am, a statement from the Beijing public security bureau said.

After repeated attempts to talk the man into releasing the girl failed, police shot the man in the head at 12:11 pm to ensure the safety of the child. The man died at the scene.The girl suffered only minor injuries.

The man is from outside of Beijing, but his detailed identity and motive is still under investigation, police said.

However, a Beijing TV report said the man is from Northwest China's Shaanxi province and he kidnapped the girl because he was angry after being stood up by an Internet friend he had arranged to meet for a date.

Witnesses said the girl, who lives in the neighborhood, was riding a bicycle while her parents walking behind her, when the man suddenly appeared and put a knife to her neck.

"He was a young man no more than 30, and he was very agitated," a barber, surnamed Zhang, told China Daily. "We heard the man yelling about how he wanted to see a certain girl, but he could not."

When a number of police cars and policemen arrived later, the man became scared and hid behind a car, Zhang said.

"Police negotiators then tried to calm the man and keep him stable. However, the man kept threatening that he would kill the girl," Zhang said. "He hurt the girl and I saw a line of blood across her neck."

After repeated attempts of persuasion, a sniper who had climbed onto the roof of an opposite building pulled the trigger.

This is the latest case of a knife-wielding man trying to injure or kill children.

In just over a month, four incidents of knife-wielding men in four different provinces have killed eight children and injured at least 52 others. Most of the cases occurred in schools or kindergartens.

The Ministry of Public Security issued an emergency circular over the weekend, saying all necessary measures should be taken against attackers who prey on children.

On Monday morning, Zhou Yongkang, a member of the standing committee of the political bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said ensuring security at schools and kindergartens is a "major political task".

"The most important part of social security is to ensure personal safety, and we are concerned most about the safety of our children," he said at a conference on social stability.

Zhou urged Party and government officials to keep in close contact with local communities, work units and families, to be familiar with public opinion and to solve people's complaints.

He also called for special care for "people in difficult situations" and urged local governments to prevent any extreme issues caused by exacerbated contradictions.

Qiu Bo contributed to this story.

Source:China Daily


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