CHINA - Police across South China's Guangdong province have seized more than 700 guns, 20,000 replica weapons, 500,000 bullets, and 6,000 knives in a campaign from March 1 to April 15 targeting gun-related crimes.
Meanwhile, police confiscated more than 300 kilograms of explosives, 200 meters of fuse and 600 detonators during the campaign, according to Zhang Yongqiang, deputy director-general of the Guangdong provincial department of public security.
"Most of the guns and replica weapons that have been seized in the campaign were domestically made," Zhang said.
Zhang said the special campaign against gun-related crimes would last until the end of November.
He added that the campaign was aimed at ensuring social order for Guangdong's economic development and creating a better environment for residents and tourists from around the world.
Statistics from Zhang's department revealed that the province has investigated 238 gun-related cases and has busted a number of criminal gangs that used weapons to commit crimes in the first three months this year.
Of the gun-related cases, 208 have been solved so far, Zhang said.
The crackdown has dealt a heavy blow to gun-related crimes in the southern province which borders the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, he said.
"But fighting gun-related crime is a long-term, tough and systematic task in Guangdong, and police officers in the entire province will never relax their vigilance, despite the achievement," he said.
He urged local residents to actively tip off police and cooperate in fighting crime.
In a major gun-related case, police in Dongguan detained 23 suspects, including two gang leaders in a series of special operations in the city's Humen township between March 3 and 5.
Police seized eight replica pistols, a hunting gun and bullets and other semi-finished weapons, after they destroyed a secret weapons production location there.
Police in the cities of Qingyuan and Jieyang, from Feb 16 and March 1, shut down three sites used for illegally producing and selling guns, detaining 11 suspects and confiscating six guns and a large number of bullets.
Meanwhile Shenzhen police on Feb 29 smashed a gang that sold guns through the Internet, detaining two suspects, seizing eight guns and gun parts.
Guangdong's action is part of a national effort to tackle the issue.
The country has witnessed a series of armed robberies in recent months, which have triggered public concern and prompted the Ministry of Public Security to launch a nationwide crackdown on guns and explosives from February to November this year.