Blast outside Chinese kindergarten was bomb attack, police say

The 22-year-old man, surnamed Xu, was among those killed in the blast near the entrance to the kindergarten in Xuzhou, a city in the coastal province of Jiangsu, police said in a briefing shown on state television. Bomb-making materials were found in the flat where he lived, Xinhua news agency reported.

The suspect behind the blast at the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China that killed 8 people, has been identified, local authorities said on Friday. They say emblazoned on the walls of the residence were the Chinese characters for death and disaster.

Xu had left school because of a nervous system disorder, whose symptoms can include depression, anxiety, dizziness, vision problems and problems with basic bodily functions, the police said at a news conference.

Citing a statement by the Xuzhou city government, the South China Morning Post says two victims died at the scene and at least five others have died at the hospital, while nine of the injured remain in serious condition. The explosion is said to have occurred just before 5 p.m., and according to the New York Times, local Chinese media is saying that the situation was caused by a possible gas tank explosion. "Clothes, shoes and other items were strewn about beside pools of blood".

The newspaper People's Daily, which posted graphic photos and videos of the blast's aftermath in Jiangsu province, reports that an investigation is now underway.

It showed ambulances arriving and medics wheeling people into an emergency room.

Kindergartens in China have been targeted before in apparent revenge attacks carried out by people bearing grudges against their neighbours and society.

In the year 2010, almost 20 children were killed in various attacks on schools, prompting protests and leading to many schools increasing their security and posting guards.

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, but there have been a series of knife and axe attacks in recent years, many targeting children.

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  • Carolyn Briggs