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Brothers 'released poisonous snakes in feud'

Two brothers have been arrested after allegedly releasing poisonous snakes near the home of a local leader they were feuding with in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, police said today.

The police said on their website that Guo Gongwei and Guo Gongtian, bought the short-tail pit vipers at a market, where they are sold as food and medicine.

The state-run Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper reported that 500 snakes were set loose near the home of the village leader, only identified by the surname Song.

Police said the brothers, who have been charged with endangering public security, confessed they were seeking revenge.

Details of the feud were not released.