Reuters International

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities on Friday executed the former police chief of the northern region of Inner Mongolia after convicting him of murder, bribery, and possession of fire arms and explosives, state media reported.

A court in Taiyuan City in the northern province of Shanxi announced that Zhao Liping had been put to death, after approval of the supreme court

The Taiyuan court last year found Zhao guilty of killing a 26-year-old lady surnamed Li, saying how he carried out the murder was "especially cruel", though did not give details.

He also took over two million yuan (226,397 pounds) in bribes and illegally stored 91 detonators in his office while working as the police chief of Inner Mongolia from 2008 to 2010, according to the court.

Before he was executed he was allowed to see close relatives, the court added, without elaborating.

China does not provide statistics for how many people it executes each year, but Amnesty International believes China is the world's top executioner, putting to death more than 1,000 people in 2016.

Inner Mongolia is a strategically important area bordering Russia and Mongolia, covers a tenth of the China's landmass and has the largest coal reserves in the country.

Zhao first became police chief of the region in 2005 and had worked as a police officer for almost three decades.

State media has previously said the victim was his mistress, whom he stabbed, shot and burned her body, after she threatened to expose his corrupt behaviour.

Since he became party chief in 2012, President Xi Jinping has waged war on corruption within the party, warning that a failure to root out graft could jeopardise the party's survival.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry)

Reuters

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