Wednesday, March 05, 2008

China - Tourist bus hijacker shot dead

The incident occurred in the popular city of Xian

Chinese police have shot and killed a hijacker after the man refused to release two hostages in the Northwest Shaanxi Province. Xia Tao, a resident of Xi'an City's Yanliang District, hijacked a bus and took an Australian tourist and a translator hostage in the downtown Zhonggulou Square at 09:52 local time on Wednesday. Armed with explosives, he wanted to negotiate with police. Initially, a total of 10 tourists were held by Xia, but 9 were released as police accepted Xia's demand to change buses and to go to the airport to avoid violence in the downtown core. But police opened fire as the bus approached the airport toll station at 12:36 pm. Chinese state media said that according to the local public security bureau; negotiations had been “unsuccessful”. The 48 year old woman from New South Wales and the translator escaped unharmed. But the attack raises the possibility that foreign tourists could be targeted by individuals with a grudge before and during this summer's Olympic Games [China Daily / CNN].

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