At least seven dead after multiple explosions in Chinese city

The Ministry of Public Security said it was treating the case as a criminal act, and not terrorism.

Chinatopix/AP
A view of a residential building partially collapsed by what police are describing as explosive devices delivered in mail packages in Liucheng county in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Wednesday Sept. 30, 2015.

More than a dozen blasts triggered by explosive devices delivered in mail packages killed at least seven people and injured over 50 in a small city in southern China on Wednesday, officials and state media said.

The Ministry of Public Security said it was treating the case as a criminal act, and not terrorism. It said a 33-year-old local man, identified only by his family name of Wei, was considered a suspect, but provided no further details, including a possible motive or whether the man had been detained. Local media reported that the suspect had been apprehended.

A local Communist Party newspaper, the Guangxi Daily, cited police as saying there were 17 explosions in Liucheng, leaving seven people dead, two missing and 51 injured.

The explosions, which occurred between 3:15 p.m. and 5 p.m., hit a hospital, local markets, a shopping mall, a bus station and several government buildings, including a jail and dormitories for government workers, according to a police statement posted by the local newspaper Nanguo Zaobao.

"There were so many of them, and they were so loud, everyone in (Liucheng) could hear them," said a hotel employee who gave only his family name, Li. The hotel is near a township office building that was hit by one of the explosions.

"They sounded like someone was blasting rocks in the mountains," Li said.

Zhou Changqing, the police chief for the city of Liuzhou, which has jurisdiction over Liucheng, said the blasts were triggered by explosive devices delivered in several mail packages, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

A supermarket employee said the store was evacuated immediately when an adjacent supermarket was hit by an explosion.

"All of us heard the blast. It was very loud," he said by phone.

Photos posted online showed streets filled with smoke, strewn debris, dust clouds in the sky and the rubble from a five-story building that had partially collapsed.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that at least one more explosion hit downtown Liuzhou, away from Liucheng. It did not say whether there were any casualties from that blast or whether it was connected to the ones in Liucheng.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.