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Arsonist kills himself after setting bus on fire
Updated: 2004-09-01 21:20

A arsonist, who set a mini bus on fire that killed three people in Central-south China's Hunan province around 7 a.m. Wednesday, committed suicide while fleeing the explosion site, according to local police.

The 47-year-old Li Shiguo, a villager in Wangcheng county, near Changsha, hurled an explosive into a local bus around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities believe that the act was revenge for villagers' reporting to local police last year that he was illegally logging mountain forests, an act putting Li in jail for one year till May this year, local sources noted.

Li had not been employed since his release from jail in May and was always at odds with other villagers due to his bad temper, said local sources.

The three dead included a seven-year-old primary school pupil, a 16-year-old middle school student and 71-year-old Li Guanghua. Thirty-four passengers suffered burns of varying severity.

Specific number of people on board was unavailable by press time but is estimated to be close to 40. Twenty of the passengers were students leaving for school on the first day of the fall semester, according to the driver, who was slightly injured.

Li Shiguo asked his nephew, who was also aboard, to leave the mini bus before the blast took place, said eyewitnesses.

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