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Police killer executed in China

By Chris Hogg, BBC News
November 26, 2008

A 28-year-old man convicted of killing six policemen in Shanghai has been executed, Chinese state media reports.

Yang Jia forced his way into a Shanghai police station and stabbed the men.

Police said Yang, who was from Beijing, told them his attack was in revenge for torture he had suffered while being interrogated about a stolen bicycle.

Yang received strong public support inside China, with thousands of comments posted on the internet about the way police treat ordinary people.

Yang had tried to sue the police for psychological damage, but the claim was rejected.

Hailed as a hero

You will be remembered in history as a hero

Yang Jia had thrown petrol bombs at the police station to create a diversion. Then he had burst inside and started slashing at officers with a knife. Six were killed and four injured.

Local media reported claims by Yang that he had been beaten in detention - claims denied by the police.

But the case prompted thousands of people to comment on message boards and blogs. Many of the comments were removed by the censors. Some on the internet had even hailed Yang as a hero.

Yang was put on trial in September. There were protests in his support outside the court.

He was convicted and the case was referred to the Supreme Court. He received the backing of the artist Ai WeiWei who designed the Olympic Stadium, the Bird's Nest.

But the state news agency Xinhua says the higher court upheld the sentence. Yang Jia was executed early on Wednesday.

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