Man arrested over slaying of 19 neighbours in south China

Victims came from at least six families who lived near each other in village in Yunnan province, police and government say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 7:36pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 September, 2016, 11:14pm

A man was arrested on Thursday in southwestern China on suspicion of killing 19 people, including four minors, mainland media have reported.

The suspect, 27, lived in the same village as the victims, outside Qujing city, about 200km from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, according to police.

An earlier government report which circulated online in the afternoon stated 16 people from six families were killed.

But the figure was revised to 19 by the provincial bureau of public security. It said 11 of the victims were male and eight were women. The youngest was three years old, and the eldest was 72, The Beijing News reported.

Police have ruled out the possibility that the suspect was a terrorist but were still investigating the motive, according to the newspaper.

Local police in Huize county, which oversees the village, received a report that two elders were found dead at their home about 7.39am on Thursday and launched the investigation.

They quickly discovered many of neighbours had also been killed.

In Beijing, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement in late afternoon that it has dispatched a task force to Yunnan.