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Journalist left in a coma after gang's mystery attack

12-21-2010 10:20 BJT

Six people have been detained on suspicion of attacking a journalist, police in Kuitun, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, announced on Monday afternoon.

The police said it was an ordinary criminal case and refuted previous speculation that the victim was attacked because his reports had angered some people.

Sun Hongjie, 38, a reporter with the North Xinjiang Morning Post, was attacked by an unidentified group at about 1 am on Saturday at a construction site. He was declared brain-dead later that morning after receiving hospital treatment.

The attack, first revealed online through micro blogs by Sun's colleagues, was widely considered to have been an act of revenge for Sun's reports disclosing the dark side of society.

According to a statement published on the police website in Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Sun was attacked after he fell foul of a cyber friend, who then asked five others to "give him a lesson".

One of the six suspects, surnamed Bu, was offended by Sun's abusive words during their online chatting and allegedly asked five friends to "teach Sun a lesson" after Sun invited him for a drink on Friday night. They followed the two early on Saturday morning, beat up Sun and smashed his cell phone.

During the attack, a suspect surnamed Liu allegedly hit Sun on the head with clumps of earth, the police statement said.


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