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Fugitive gunman kills police officer in SW China


08:36, August 13, 2012

CHONGQING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Police in southwest China's Chongqing municipality are continuing to hunt for a fugitive armed robber who is suspected of killing nine people since 2004, including a police officer who was allegedly shot dead last Friday.

Chongqing police confirmed Sunday that one of its officers was gunned down while pursuing suspect Zhou Kehua in the city's suburbs.

The latest development has added to the terror caused by the 42-year-old gunman, who has been known to target people withdrawing money from banks and become an expert at dodging police manhunts, a municipal law enforcement official said.

Over the past eight years, Zhou has been suspected of killing nine people, including the police officer in Chongqing, and wounding five others in the cities of Chongqing, Nanjing and Changsha, the official said.

Zhou is a "class-A" wanted suspect by the Ministry of Public Security. The bounty placed on his head currently stands at 5.4 million yuan (850,393 U.S. dollars), according to media reports.

Chinese laws ban the private possession of firearms. Crimes involving firearms, though rare, often attract a great deal of public attention.

"We have not seen this kind of cold-blooded killer in years," said the police official, who declined to be named.

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