BEIJING: Six people were killed on Wednesday when 15 suspected letter bombs exploded in southern China, state media said, with blasts reported in more than ten locations including government offices.Dozens more were injured by the explosives apparently placed in express delivery packages, the official Xinhua news agency said of the blasts on the eve of China’s national day holiday.
The explosions occurred in at least 13 locations in a rural county in the Guangxi region, the Nanguo Morning News, a local newspaper, cited police as saying.They included a prison, a government office and a shopping centre, it said.
Pictures posted online, which could not be verified, showed portions of six-storey buildings gutted and collapsed, and streets littered with glass, bricks and other debris.Other photos showed overturned cars, victims bandaged and on makeshift stretchers and plumes of grey smoke rising above a residential district.
State broadcaster CCTV quoted a local police chief as saying the blasts were caused by several different explosive devices, adding that “the case is understood to be a criminal one”.
The blasts occurred at the seat of Liucheng county and surrounding areas, said Xinhua, which initially reported three dead.It said rescue workers had rushed to the scene.”Initial investigation showed that explosives could be inside express delivery packages,” it added.In recent years several disgruntled Chinese citizens have bombed local government offices and public places to try to draw attention to their grievances.
In 2013, a man set off a series of home-made bombs packed with ball-bearings outside a provincial government headquarters in northern China, killing at least one person and wounding eight.Xinhua said at the time he sought to “take revenge on society”.
The same year a street vendor set fire to a bus in east China’s Fujian province, killing himself and nearly four dozen passengers in an act of retaliation against local authorities.
Legal paths for pursuing justice in China are limited, as courts are subject to political influence and corruption. Citizens who lodge complaints against authorities often find themselves being detained.
Authorities maintain tight control over public security in the one-party state and place huge importance on maintaining social order.