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Gang leader sentenced to death in SW China

(Xinhua)

10:49, January 14, 2012

KUNMING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- A gang leader was sentenced to death Friday in southwest China's Yunnan province for violent crimes, including instigating an affray with another gang that left nine people dead.

Zheng Chunyun, the gang leader in Luxi county of Honghe prefecture, was convicted on 12 counts, including running a gang, robbery, illegal mining, intentional injury, blackmailing, operating a casino and gambling, the Honghe prefectural intermediate people's court ruled.

Zheng's 18 gang members also received sentences Friday.

Zheng said he would appeal.

The sentences came after the court meted out the death penalty Thursday to two leaders of another local gang that had a deadly gun fight with Zheng's crew.

Wang Jianfu -- the leader of the other gang -- and Wang Feiyun -- the second-in-command of the gang and a mine electric technician -- were given the death sentence for crimes including murder, illegal possession of firearms, and endangering public security by the Honghe court Thursday.

Wang was the contractor of Xiaosongdi Coal Mine in Honghe's Luxi county, but had disputes over exploitation rights of the mine with the owner of a neighboring mine, Zheng Chunyun.

On Nov. 18, 2010, over 100 people headed by Zheng and wielding steel pipes and knives arrived at Xiaosongdi to "settle the dispute," only to find themselves ambushed. Wang and his subordinates had laid homemade bombs and set themselves up in a position to fire on their rivals.

They set off explosives and opened fire, killing nine people and wounding 48 others.

Twenty-four other members of Wang's gang received sentences on Thursday, more than two months after the trial started. Zheng and 40 people of his gang were also tried for various crimes late last year.

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