Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Friday, 18 July 2008 16:26 UK

Gun briefing backfires in China

A Chinese policeman (generic image)
Chinese police have conducted fire-arms amnesties in the past

Three Chinese reporters attending a police briefing on the success of an anti-gun campaign were accidentally shot, media reports say.

An officer picked up one of the weapons on show - a confiscated home-made gun - but it went off in his hand.

A reporter needed surgery for injuries to his ankle, crotch and chest, after being hit by what appeared to be pebbles fired by the gun.

Two others were slightly injured in the incident in Nanchong, southern China.

White smoke was rising in the room and crushed stone-like things were scattered all around

According to the Chongqing Times, the home-made gun had been designed for shooting birds.

It was demonstrated 10 minutes after a news conference giving details of a special campaign against illegal explosives and weapons.

"Journalists from 13 media outlets were led to a hall on the second floor after attending the meeting on the 12th floor,'' one woman called Lin told the newspaper.

"One officer picked up a confiscated pistol and demonstrated it to the journalists.''

Lin said she heard a bang and saw West China City Daily reporter Su Dingwei collapse.

"White smoke was rising in the room and crushed stone-like things were scattered all around,'' she was quoted as saying.

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