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Shooting mars Taiwan local elections

A gunman opened fire on a campaign rally near Taipei yesterday, killing one man and critically wounding the son of a former vice-president on the eve of key local elections. A suspect is in custody and may belong to a gang.

Police said the men were hit when the assailant rushed the stage at a primary school in the gritty town of Yung Ho, on the outskirts of the capital. A candidate for city council was apparently the intended target.

Lien Sheng-wen, the son of the former Vice-President Lien Chan and a politician in his own right, was shot in the face and temple, but hospital officials said his life was not in danger.

Violence is unusual in election campaigns in Taiwan, and violence by gangs is also limited, although the gangs exercise considerable political influence, particularly at the county level.