News World Blast outside U.S. embassy in China's capital wounds lone suspect

Blast outside U.S. embassy in China’s capital wounds lone suspect

A bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Thursday, wounding the lone assailant, the embassy said in a statement, but police described the weapon merely as a “firework device”.

The explosion happened on the street outside southeast corner of the embassy compound, the embassy said. Beijing police said the suspect, a 26-year-old man from China’s Inner Mongolia region, had injured his hand and been taken to hospital.

Police did not provide a motive.

China and the United States have been involved in an escalating trade dispute initiated by Washington after the two sides imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods, with U.S. President Donald Trump threatening ultimately to impose punitive tariffs on all Chinese imports.

While Chinese officials and state media have been outspoken in their criticism of Washington’s trade moves, there has not been a groundswell of outrage on China’s heavily censored social media, and no reported boycotts of U.S. goods.

Witnesses told Reuters that they heard an explosion near the embassy and felt tremors.

“I’d just arrived and started to queue and then heard a loud explosion about 100 metres away,” a 19-year-old high school student who gave his name as Li told reporters.

Li said the blast happened shortly after 1 p.m. as he queued to apply for a U.S. visa to take an exam in Los Angeles.

A police SUV appeared to have been damaged, with its back windshield missing, and was cordoned off by police before being removed, a Reuters witness said.

The embassy resumed normal operations at about 1.45 p.m., it said.

Crowds were still queueing outside the embassy after the explosion and traffic was moving as normal in an area of northeastern Beijing that is home to numerous embassies including those of France, India and Israel.

Postings on social media showed pictures of smoke close to where people line up outside the compound for visa appointments. Some video clips and images were later removed.

Li Shaohui, a 58-year-old sanitation worker, said he felt the ground shake and that some people screamed.

“I thought first there was big a car crash,” Li told Reuters, adding that the smoke had cleared quickly.

There was no damage to U.S. embassy property, the embassy said.

Staff members at the Indian and South Korean embassies said they were unaware of any unusual incident and were working as normal.

The state-run Global Times reported separately, citing a witness, that Chinese police took away a woman who sprayed herself with gasoline in a suspected self-immolation attempt outside the embassy at around 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Beijing police did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Security in the Chinese capital is tight and protests are often quickly disbanded. Violent crime rates are low in China, according to official statistics.

Top Stories

North Korea warns of naval tensions during search for slain South Korean

  North Korea said it is searching for the body of South Korean official killed by its troops, but warned that South Korean naval operations...

Authorities keep steady pace on Covid checks, more than a thousand on weekend

  Police are not putting their foot off the gas on Covid violation checks, conducting more than a thousand over the weekend. In the past 24...

Cyprus tourism will be back in 2021 let’s save this year, hoteliers say

  The Hoteliers Association sprinkled a message of hope on Cypriots and visitors to the island, promising to intensify efforts for a successful tourism year...

Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of attacking settlements in Nagorno Karabakh

  Armenia said early today that neighbouring Azerbaijan had attacked civilian settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and urged the population in the disputed region to...

Covid cases and deaths remain on the rise in Greece

  Greece continues to record a high number of new coronavirus cases daily, while sadly deaths are also on the rise. Over the past 24 hours,...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...