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China executes woman for trafficking 31 baby boys

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BEIJING, Mar 24 (Reuters) A Chinese woman was executed today for trafficking 31 children, the Supreme Court said, after another two men were sentenced to death earlier this week for kidnapping and selling baby boys.

The sale of children and women is rampant in China, where a stringent ''one child'' policy has bolstered a traditional bias for male offspring.

Lin Yudi, 49, was executed by gunshot in the southeastern province of Fujian after the provincial high court rejected her appeal, the Supreme Court Web site said.

Lin was part of a five-member gang involved in trafficking 31 baby boys, one of whom died in the gang's custody, it said.

The boys were bought in the southwestern, border province of Yunnan.

On Monday, a Yunnan court sentenced Pan Mingquan and Wu Daping to death for kidnapping and selling 12 boys aged 2 to 3 in the province between 2004 and 2005, the court said.

Another six members from Wu's family, who bought the children from Pan at 4,260 yuan (530 dollar) each and sold them to couples in north China, received jail terms from four years to life, the court said.

China has resorted to harsh punishment to try to deter human trafficking of which the UN Children's Fund says 250,000 Chinese women and children were victims in 2003.

REUTERS AD BS1544

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