Sun, Jan 08, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Chinese farmer bombs courtroom, killing five

AGENCIES , BEIJING

Five people were killed and 22 injured after a man set off a bomb in a courtroom in far western China, Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

The explosion rocked a courthouse in Minle County in Gansu Province on Friday morning, Xinhua said, citing local police.

A 62-year-old farmer, Qian Wenzhao, forced his way into a meeting room on the courthouse's fourth floor on Friday morning and ignited explosives, Xinhua said.

Two people -- court president Chen Xingrong and a party official, Wang Qiang -- died on the spot, and three died later in hospital, Xinhua said. It didn't say whether they were the targets of the attack or identify the other victims.

Among the 22 injured, five suffered serious wounds, the report said.

Qian was unhappy with the verdict in a dispute over his late son's house and property, Xinhua reported.

But the Beijing News reported that his son was embroiled in a divorce dispute.

The report did not specify what type of explosives Qian used. But in previous bombings in China, discontented or disturbed attackers have used mining explosives or bombs made from fertilizer.

In August, a 42-year-old farmer with terminal lung cancer set off a homemade bomb aboard a bus in Fuzhou, Fujian Province. That blast wounded 31.

In July, a murder suspect set off a bomb in a crowded shopping mall in northeastern China, injuring 47 people.

Police told Xinhua they are still investigating the latest blast. The report called the blast a "suicidal explosion," but it did not say whether the accused bomber Qian was among the injured or killed.

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