BEIJING (AP) — Police in northeastern China said two people were killed and one injured Thursday in a pair of apparently related shooting incidents.
The shootings in Lanxi county took place about three hours apart and were under investigation, police spokesman Wang Yan'an said by telephone. Media reports said the shootings may have been tied to a dispute over illegal loans.
China exercises strict control over firearms and shooting crimes are extremely rare compared to stabbings and the use of homemade bombs.
Lanxi county is in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, which has a tradition of hunting and lies along the border with Russia.
Violent crime is relatively rare in China and the country's murder rate is about one quarter of the U.S. rate. However, the shooting followed an outbreak of violence this week in northwestern China blamed on Islamic militants in which dozens were reportedly killed.