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Chinese police kill man who took 50 elementary students, 1 teacher hostage

Chinese police say they shot and killed a convicted criminal who took 50 elementary school students and a teacher hostage.

The Ministry of Public Security said on its microblog that officers shot the man Tuesday and were searching the school in Hubei province for any explosives that might have been hidden by him.

State media reports identified the hostage taker as Zhang Zeqing, who previously served prison terms for robbery and illegal gun making. They said he had agreed to exchange the students and teacher for the deputy mayor of the surrounding town of Haokou, but was shot after he poured gasoline over the official.

China has suffered a spate of school attacks, some of them deadly and most linked to mentally ill people or those bearing grudges.