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Villager charged after 11 males confirmed dead

By Zhao Wen (Shanghai Daily)

08:12, May 28, 2012

A man has been arrested on charges that he murdered 11 young men in southwest China's Yunnan Province, police said yesterday.

Zhang Yongming, 56, a villager in Yunnan's Jinning County, was detained on May 9 after police found one of the missing males' telephone card, bank card and other cards at his home.

Zhang is said to have lived alone in Nanmen Village in the county that is about 60 kilometers from the provincial capital of Kunming.

All 11 missing males, most of them teenagers, have been confirmed as dead, Xinhua news agency reported.

Police said Zhang lived in a sparsely populated area in the village and violently attacked victims who were walking alone. They say he dismembered the bodies and burned or buried them to cover his crimes.

The Ministry of Public Security sent a special group of criminologists to the area earlier this month to look into the case after media reports of seven or eight teenagers going missing over several years near the village of Nanmen in the Jincheng Township.

Among the missing youngsters, Han Yao, from a nearby village, was confirmed as murdered on May 10, the Kunming Municipal Public Security Bureau said.

Han was reported missing on April 25, and his mother Chen Lianyan learned from nearby villagers that several teenagers had also gone missing near Nanmen Village.

Police found the boy's telephone card, bank card and other cards in Zhang's home.

He was taken into custody and questioned about the other youngsters.

The ministry also sent an inspection team to Jinning to supervise and reinforce the investigation on May 20.

Police said Zhang had been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for murder in 1979 but was released in 1997 after the sentence had been reduced a number of times.

Da Qiming, director of the county's Public Security Bureau, and Zhao Huiyun, head of the township police station, have been sacked from their posts.

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