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Jincheon arsonist faces murder charges

Police said Friday they are seeking an arrest warrant for a man who killed one and injured several others during a family rite in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, on charges of murder.

The 79-year-old suspect, whose name has not been revealed, was detained on Thursday after he set fire to a group of his relatives performing a ritual ceremony in the mountains. An 85-year-old man was killed, while 10 others sustained burns of varying degrees. 


Based on witness statements, the man allegedly sprayed gasoline on the people as they were bowing and set them ablaze. Investigations showed he had prepared 4 liters of the substance ahead of the incident.

Police said they applied murder charges to the suspect believing he had prepared the gasoline with the intention to kill his relatives. The man also faces charges of attempted murder. Authorities said the charges could change upon further investigation.

The murder suspect took poison at the scene and was taken to a hospital, where he has been detained by police. Authorities plan to file a request for a warrant after questioning the suspect later in the day.

By Choi Ji-won (