CHINA / Regional

Police seize thousands of guns
(AP)
Updated: 2006-08-02 10:27

Police have seized about 6,000 illegal firearms and tons of explosives in a two-month crackdown across three provinces, the government said Tuesday.

About 5,500 weapons including pistols and hunting rifles - were taken in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing a report from the Public Security Ministry.

Police in Sichuan also seized 203 hand grenades, 23,500 rounds of ammunition and 25 tons of explosives, the report said.

Other seizures took place in the northeastern provinces of Liaoning and Jilin, where several hundred weapons were melted down, Xinhua said.

More than 1,000 people in Jilin and Sichuan were charged with firearms crimes, the agency said.

Almost all private gun ownership is illegal in China, making firearms relatively rare except among criminals. Explosives are produced and traded illicitly mainly for illegal mining.