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Alleged dealer killed self, police say

(China Daily)

09:02, October 17, 2011

Police officers prepare to storm a house, where Li Lin, an alleged drug trafficker who had taken three children hostage, was hiding, in Longan county, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Friday. Lei Jing / for China Daily

BEIJING - An alleged drug dealer who injured three policemen and took three hostages shot himself to death after being surrounded by hundreds of police in a border county in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Friday, said local police.

Li Lin, the 45-year-old suspect, had been wanted since Aug 25 on allegations of drug trafficking.

Li shot at the officers after his Buick, loaded with drugs, was stopped at a tollgate in Daxin county at 10:20 am, leaving three policemen injured, according to a notice released on Saturday by Guangxi public security department.

One of the officers was shot in the lip, one in the left arm and one in the right eye. They were hospitalized in Nanning, capital of Guangxi.

All three were in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon, Lei Jing, a press officer at the Guangxi public security department, told China Daily.

Photos taken by Lei showed the windshield of a police car had been destroyed by bullets.

The police shot back, wounding Li in the thigh. He then sped away, destroying part of the tollgate as he fled, and escaped to a town in neighboring Longan county.

The police later found Li hiding in a bedroom of a residential building in Qiaojian township at about 6 pm. They said he took three children from one family hostage: a 12-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter.

The older girl managed to escape when Li wasn't watching.

More than 430 police officers then surrounded the building and dispersed as many as 300 local residents.

Xu Guangwen, a police officer of Daxin county who had been tracking Li's case for months, entered the bedroom three times in plain clothes, talked with the suspect and tried to persuade him to release the remaining two hostages.

After three hours of negotiations, Li released the other two children. He shot himself to death afterward. The police didn't say what was discussed between Xu and Li.

None of the three children were hurt, said local police.

The police also detained two suspects surnamed Mo and Huang, allegedly from Li's gang in Nanning and Fusui, also in Guangxi. The police seized five packages of heroin weighing 1.75 kg in total, two vehicles allegedly used in drug trafficking, a pistol and six bullets. Another suspect, surnamed Zhu, from Li's gang remains at large.

The police are further investigating the case, according to Lei.

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