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Police officers shot dead in China

Two murder suspects have killed three police officers in a shoot-out after going on a carjacking spree in eastern China, a news report said, in a rare case of gun violence in a country where private firearms ownership is illegal.

Two civilians and four police officers were also wounded in the shoot-out in Tai'an city in the eastern coastal province of Shandong.

The suspects hijacked four cars in a row, shooting two of the drivers, before they were rammed by a squad car, the China Daily newspaper said.

Three officers died in the shoot-out with the gunmen, who were armed with a handmade pistol and a double-barrelled shotgun. One of the suspects shot himself to death and another was taken into custody.

The paper said the men were suspects in a killing a month ago in nearby Dezhou city and had been hiding at the apartment of a relative in Tai'an.

China has little gun crime but has seen a rise in the black-market trade of smuggled and home-made weapons, prompting a nationwide crackdown last year on illegal firearms.

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