Australian police capture nation's most wanted man

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Australia's most wanted man, who eluded officials for seven years by hiding out in dense forests, was captured on Thursday and charged with murder, ending a frustrating and at times violent hunt, police said.

Malcolm Naden was heavily bearded, barefoot and wearing muddy clothes when New South Wales police found him just after midnight at a remote house near the town of Gloucester, about 260 kilometres north of Sydney.

The former slaughterhouse worker has been charged with the 2005 strangling death of a cousin and other violent crimes. A police dog bit Naden in the raid, which was prompted by a tip to police.

Police found a loaded semiautomatic rifle on the property but said no shots were fired during the arrest.

About 50 police officers had been searching for Naden around the clock since December, when police say he shot and wounded an officer during a raid at a campsite.

"Australia's most wanted man is behind bars," New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said. He called Naden a ‘master bushman’, an Australian term for a wilderness survival expert.

"He has been in this area for a number of years. He knows it better than the back of his hand," Scipione said. Naden was taken to a hospital under heavy guard for treatment of the wound to his leg.

The 38-year-old said nothing to reporters as he shuffled, feet shackled and face covered, into a police van after being released from the hospital.

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