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A bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Thursday, wounding the lone assailant, the embassy said in a statement

July 26th, 2018 | by Richard Paul
A bomb exploded outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Thursday, wounding the lone assailant, the embassy said in a statement
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Bomb Explodes Outside US Embassy In Beijing

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 “firecracker” according to Reuters. The explosion happened on the street outside southeast corner of the embassy compound, the embassy said.

A 26-year-old man from China’s northern region of Inner Mongolia detonated an explosive device around 1 p.m., the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said on its official Weibo social media account. The man was being treated in a hospital for a non-life-threatening injury, Bloomberg reported .

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said the case had been properly handled by local police. “It is an isolated case of public security,” Geng said.

The US Embassy released a statement, saying there was an explosion outside the embassy compound. “According to the embassy’s regional security officer, there was one individual who detonated a bomb. Other than the bomber, no other people were injured and there was no damage to embassy property.”

美国驻华使领馆 US MissionCN

@USA_China_Talk

Update from the Embassy on the July 26 Incident
There was an explosion at approximately 1pm today on the street outside the South East corner of the Embassy compound. According to the Embassy’s Regional Security Officer, there was one individual who detonated a bomb.

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 meters 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.

As Reuters adds, 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.

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刚刚北京美国驻华大使馆发生爆炸

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.

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

* * *

Separately, the state-run Global Times reported 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.

Global Times

@globaltimesnews

Witness says police took away a woman spraying gasoline on herself in suspected attempt at self-immolation outside US embassy in Beijing around 11 am Thursday.

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

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