Asia-Pacific

Chinese judges hurt in acid attack

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Two judges and four other court officials have been injured in an acid attack sparked by a loan dispute in southern China, state media reports.

Xinhua said defendants Chen Hongsheng and Liu Fengjian threw sulphuric acid at officials as they tried to repossess a property in Wuzhou, Guangxi province.

The couple were arrested after a two-hour siege - reports said the judges could partially lose their sight.

The attack comes a week after three judges were shot dead in Hunan.

China National Radio said the couple in Wuzhou owed 300,000 yuan ($44,000: £30,000) to six other people but were refusing to pay, so the judges ordered that their house be seized.

As officials were entering the building, Mr Chen and Mrs Liu poured acid on them from above, Xinhua news agency reported.

The injured were taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries, Wuzhou official Liu Youming told the news agency, but Changzhou district court president Judge Liao Kedong suffered burns to half his face.

Other reports suggested Judge Liao and his colleague, Judge Wu Zhibin, could each lose sight in one eye.

Mr Chen and Mrs Liu were arrested after a siege involving armed police and firefighters.

China has a comparatively low rate of violent crime but has witnessed several incidents in recent months.

Last week, a man armed with a submachine gun shot three judges dead and injured three others in Yongzhou, Hunan province.

The country has also seen a series of knife attacks in schools this year, which have left some 17 people dead and dozens injured.

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