China woman kills grandson over zodiac sign

BEIJING - A woman in eastern China killed her infant grandson by tossing him into a well after a fortune-teller told her the child's zodiac sign would bring ruin to the family, state media reported.

The woman, identified only by her surname Ao, resolved to kill the child in Nanchang city after the seer warned his Chinese zodiac sign "clashed" with those of others in the family, Jiangxi province's news website said Monday.

When Ao's daughter-in-law, surnamed Wang, was pregnant with the child, Ao went so far as to encourage another grandson to hit Wang in the belly in an attempt to cause a miscarriage, said the government-run Jiangxi News site.

Ao told police that after the child was born in January, she decided to kill him and eventually tossed him in the well on April 6 when the baby's mother was in the toilet, it said.

Ao then went missing for two days but was found by police and arrested.

Despite three decades of rapid modernisation in China, many people, particularly the elderly and residents of poorer rural provinces like Jiangxi, still cling to traditional beliefs and superstitions.