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Reporters hurt at gun press conference

From correspondents in Beijing | July 18, 2008

THREE journalists were hurt when a gun went off at a press conference called by Chinese police to highlight the success of a gun-control campaign.

The press conference in Nanchong in Sichuan province was to publicise the results of a campaign by the city's police to seize illegal weapons, the Beijing News reported.

According to Zheng Chongjun, deputy head of the political division of Nanchong police, some of the reporters asked to take photos of the guns seized, the newspaper reported.

One of the police officials mishandled a homemade weapon, releasing the trigger and dropping it.

It was unclear from the report whether the gun contained bullets or shotgun pellets but it said one journalist needed surgery after being hit in the ankle, crotch, and chest.

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