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China Executes 29 for Crimes

May 21, 2001

BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese authorities executed at least 29 people in one day Sunday as part of a crackdown on crime that already has seen hundreds put to death.

In the northeastern province of Liaoning, 15 people were executed for crimes including armed robbery, rape and racketeering, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Executions also were carried out in the southwestern city of Chongqing and in Changde, a city in the southern province of Hunan. A total of 14 people were put to death in the two cities for a nine-year spree of thefts and killings, Xinhua said.

Xinhua described the 15 put to death in Liaoning as ``gangsters.″ Six of those executed were members of a gang of armed robbers who killed 18 people and seriously injured three others, it said.

Another five of those put to death were part of a gang that mainly stole cars, Xinhua said. The gang also killed seven people, it said.

China is targeting organized and violent crime in a ``Strike Hard″ campaign aimed at shoring up public confidence in the communist government’s ability to combat lawlessness.

China keeps nationwide execution figures a secret and the condemned in China are generally shot.

Amnesty International and other rights groups say China has executed more than 500 people since April 11. A Western diplomat, tallying reports in Chinese state-run media, counted 801 executions in the final three weeks of April alone.

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