18 Parcel Bombs Exploded In China – Not A ‘Terrorist Act’ But A ‘Criminal Case,’ Determines Police [Update]

A day after 17 parcel bombs rocked a southern town in China, a fresh explosion occurred in the same region. The bombs have so far claimed about a dozen victims while injuring at least 50.

After confirming 17 separate explosions that were triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) packed in mailed packages, China’s state news agency confirmed that another explosion occurred in a residential building in Liucheng, a rural county of the Guangxi region of China. The explosion occurred early in the morning, added the official Xinhua news agency.

The latest explosion caused damage to a six-story building near a local highway administrative bureau in Liucheng, China. The state news agency reported there were some “bricks scattered around” the explosion site. Fortunately, the latest blast didn’t harm anybody, but it was still a powerful one, shared people who live nearby.

The explosion comes a mere day after 17 parcel bombs went off in quick succession at multiple locations, including government offices, in Liucheng County, China. According to Mashable, the parcel bombs were planted in myriad locations, including a prison, a train station, a hospital, and a shopping center. All of the bombs were rigged to blow using timers and weren’t remotely detonated. The parcel bombs were neatly sealed and disguised as express delivery packages, reported state media.

Though relatively small, these parcel bombs were quite powerful. The explosions ripped large holes in big buildings, shattering the glass of nearby structures and flinging bricks, which were found to be scattered for several meters from the blast.

The 18th explosion occurred just a day before China’s national day. The majority of China’s administrative offices and local businesses usually go on a weeklong holiday. However, a dark shadow has now been cast on the otherwise joyous occasion. So far, the explosions have claimed approximately a dozen lives and injured 50 more. Those injured were rushed to state-run hospitals and are being treated. The state agency hasn’t confirmed if any of the injured are listed as critical.

Incidentally, the police have been swift to act on the case and, based on the investigation, have determined that the parcel bombs weren’t planted by terrorists. Accordingly, they are treating the blasts as a “criminal case” and not as a “terrorist act,” reported MSN.

The state agency reported that the police have arrested a 33-year-old suspect, who they strongly believe is behind the parcel bombs. The police believe the suspect, identified as Wei Yinyong, learned the art of making crude but powerful bombs and managed to fit timer devices. Though it is not immediately known how Yinyong managed to get all the parcel bombs distributed across the town, the police suspect he may have hired delivery boys to get the bombs delivered to their intended targets. They added that the suspect might have taken some of the bombs himself to locations like the train station and shopping centers.

Parcel Bombs China

Apparently, Yinyong had a few grudges with the local village people. Liuzhou city’s residents are majorly into quarry-related activities. Organized crime syndicates and cartels are known to harass people who slog in these quarries, leaving many disgruntled and angry. Though it isn’t possible to corroborate, corruption is also blamed for the poor state of affairs, forcing people to take drastic steps.

While 18 parcel bombs is certainly a high number, such retaliation and acts of aggression are quite common. There have been several incidents of Chinese citizens bombing local government offices and even public places in a desperate bid to draw attention to their plight and sufferings.

It is suspected Yinyong was trying to get back at local villagers and companies that were involved in mining operations, reported Fox News.

Update: In a bizarre twist, the police have claimed that the suspect behind the parcel bombs was himself in one of the explosions, reported the Times of India.

[Image Credit | Xinhua /Zhang Ailin / Getty Images]