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4 Chinese slain in bakery robbery

By Pu Zhendong | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-27 06:49

Concerns over the safety of Chinese citizens abroad increased once again after four Chinese were fatally stabbed in a bakery in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby.

The Chinese embassy in the South Pacific island nation confirmed that the victims, three men and a woman, all from Shanghai, were working when masked robbers broke in and attacked them at about 9 pm local time on Monday, he said.

Yin Weijiang, a local embassy official, said on Wednesday that the crime scene was horrifying. The attackers almost cut off one of the victim's heads.

"The assailants came in through the shop's back door, threatened the victims and then stabbed them with knives," Papua New Guinea police spokesman Dominic Kakas said.

Wang Chuanjiang, an employee at the bakery and brother of the male shopkeeper, locked himself in a room and survived the attack. Some cash had been taken, he said.

The four dead were bakery owners Wang Chuanhai, 59, and his wife, Jiang Qin, 53, and employees Wang Jianguo, 57, and Cai Liangen, 58. All had been living and working in Papua New Guinea for more than 10 years, the embassy said, adding that the victims' families are heading to the country.

On Wednesday, Beijing urged the Papua New Guinea government to investigate the crime and to adopt strong measures to guarantee Chinese citizen's safety in the country. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is paying close attention to further developments and will do its best to help the victims' families.

The attack came days after two famous Chinese mountaineers were shot dead in northern Pakistan in a pre-dawn terrorist assault that claimed the lives of 11 climbers.

Experts warned Chinese citizens in countries with abominable security conditions to be cautious and to abide by local rules so as not to cause antipathy.

Chen Qi, a professor of international affairs at Tsinghua University, said the chances of Chinese being attacked abroad are increasing along with China's growing business and tourist activities.

"Although these killings might not all be aimed at Chinese citizens, our businessmen and travelers should be careful and take precautions when abroad, for example, by not damaging the environment in the host country," he said.

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill condemned the killing in a statement on Wednesday, calling the attack "brutal and cowardly".

"I want to assure the government of China and relatives of those killed that police will get all the help necessary to track down and bring the perpetrators to justice," O'Neill said. Saying an investigation is underway, the prime minister urged the business community to stay calm.

According to an official from the Chinese embassy, about 10,000 Chinese live in Papua New Guinea. Most are from Fujian province and have retailing or catering businesses there.

"Security conditions in the island country have always been worrying, with murders and robberies targeting Chinese happening constantly, but this case was the most brutal and serious one," the official said, adding that seven Chinese were reported killed or missing in 2011.

Yang Ting and Xinhua contributed to this story.

(China Daily 06/27/2013 page9)

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