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A mosquito triggers gun battle in Taiwan

A mosquito triggered a gun battle among a few friends, leaving three injured.

world Updated: Feb 15, 2007 18:27 IST

Small as it is, a mosquito has triggered a gun battle among a group of youngsters in Taiwan, leaving three injured and five arrested by police, a newspaper said on Thursday.

On Tuesday evening, eight friends in their 20s in Kaohsiung, south Taiwan, went to the Asali Bar for a party and stayed until the early hours of Wednesday, the Apple Daily reported.

As they were singing and drinking, Jung Tsai noticed that Huang Wei-ting had fallen asleep on a sofa and there was a mosquito on Huang's face. To prevent the mosquito from biting Huang, Jung Tsai slapped Huang on his face, waking up Huang, the paper said.

Huang, awake and angry, asked Huang why he had hit him. Huang, with a coy smile, said: "I was just trying to swap a mosquito."

In Taiwan Chinese, "I will swap that mosquito for you" is sometimes meant as a pretext for slapping another person's face, though often as a joke.

Huang, believing Jung Tsai was playing that joke on him, jumped up from the sofa and hit Huang, triggering a brawl as all the men in the group were on Jung Tsai's side.

Huang went home to fetch a pistol and returned to the bar with two friends to seek revenge.

Huang opened fire but missed Jung Tsai, who seized the pistol and, together with his friends, beat up Huang and his two friends with fists and wine bottles.

The brawl left three injured and five arrested by police. The five face charges including attempted murder, which carries a minimum 10-year sentence, and illegal possession of firearms.

First Published: Feb 15, 2007 18:30 IST