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China Gives Villager Death Sentence over Massacre of 19 | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A court in southwest China said Friday it has sentenced to death a man who killed 19 people, including his parents and several other relatives, in a bloody rampage with a pickaxe.

After returning to his home village in Yunnan province on September 28 last year, Yang Qingpei murdered his parents when they refused to give him money, the Qujing City Intermediate People’s Court said on its official microblog account.

Fearing he would be discovered, Yang then killed 17 of his neighbors and fled to Yunnan’s provincial capital Kunming, it said, adding that the murder weapon was a pickaxe.

Yang, who was born in 1989, pleaded guilty to all charges and apologized to the relatives of the dead, it added.

Aside from the gruesome nature of the killings, Yang’s case attracted national attention in part because villagers who discovered the crime scene initially suspected a terrorist attack, and videos that circulated on social media at the time showed armed police patrolling the village before they were censored.

Police quickly refuted any terror link and apprehended Yang within a day.