Fri, Oct 02, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Fresh blast rocks Chinese town after bombs kill seven

AFP, BEIJING

People yesterday look at damaged vehicles near a partially collapsed residential building after an explosion reportedly caused by explosives hidden in parcels in Liucheng County in China’s Guangxi region.

Photo: EPA

A fresh explosion rocked a Chinese town yesterday, a day after 17 parcel bombs killed at least seven people and wounded scores more, state media reported.

No injuries were reported in the latest blast, which came hours after apartment buildings were brought down and a supermarket was shattered in a wave of bombings in Guangxi.

Police were quick to rule out a “terrorist act,” saying on Wednesday they were treating the explosions as a “criminal case.”

The apparent attacks come amid a wave of unrest linked to China’s Uighur ethnic minority.

The six-story residential building hit yesterday sustained “some damage,” media reports said.

Pictures showed bricks scattered around the site, which authorities had sealed off. China National Radio’s blog site CRI quoted a resident who said he was shaken awake by the blast and “thought there was an earthquake.”

At least 13 places were hit on Wednesday, including a prison, a government office, a train station, a hospital and a shopping center.

Pictures showed one six-story building gutted and collapsed, and streets littered with glass, bricks and other debris.

Other photographs posted online, which could not be verified, showed overturned cars, people bandaged and laid on makeshift stretchers, and plumes of gray smoke rising above a residential district.

The explosives were apparently placed in express delivery packages, Xinhua news agency said.

Police late on Wednesday said that 51 people were injured and two people were missing.

Local media reported that post offices in the area had beefed up security measures and halted package delivery until tomorrow. On China’s Sina Weibo site, police urged the public not to accept material from strangers and warned residents not to take packages from “unofficial channels,” Xinhua said.

A 33-year-old local man had been arrested, authorities said, providing no immediate explanation regarding a possible motive.

Xinhua yesterday reported that police were looking into whether the suspect, named as M. Wei, “hired others to help deliver letter bombs.”

The explosions took place on the eve of China’s National Day holiday, during which some government offices and companies take the week off.

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