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Explosive in car kills ex-gang boss, brother

FUKUOKA--A former head of a crime syndicate and his brother were found dead in a car that exploded Wednesday night in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, police said Thursday.

According to the police, pieces of an explosive device were found along with unused explosive in the car of Sueharu Matsunaga, former head of the Kyushu Seido-kai gang. The explosives were believed to be hand grenades, the police said. A gun was found on the road near the car.

The police believe the explosive had detonated in the car. The police said they were investigating whether Matsunaga, 54, and his brother, Seiji Oki, 56, had intended to attack the nearby headquarters of the Seido-kai gang Matsunaga had belonged to.

According to the police, a passerby called an ambulance at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday after finding injured men in the car with smoke rising from it. After police officers reached the site, the car collided with a light pole and caught fire. The two were later confirmed dead.

The police were searching for Matsunaga and Oki after obtaining arrest warrants for the pair on suspicion they assaulted a senior member of Seido-kai with a shochu bottle on Saturday night at a hostess bar in Omuta.

(Apr. 8, 2011)
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