A 26-year-old Chinese man has been arrested after detonating a bomb outside the United States embassy in Beijing on Thursday. Police said the bomber injured his hand, but stressed there were no other injuries in the incident, which took place near where visa applicants typically line up to enter the building for interviews.
They later revealed that a man known only by his family name, Jiang, was in custody after triggering the explosion. Police added that there were no further injuries, but confirmed that Jiang came from China’s Inner Mongolia region.
Video clips circulating on social media shortly after the explosion showed smoke in the air outside the embassy compound.
“We heard a rather strong explosion so we went out on the street to have a look, but very soon the police had cordoned off the area,” a witness, who declined to be identified, told AFP.
Police, who said the bomb was more like a firecracker, quickly cordoned off the spot where the blast took place and China’s state-censorship apparatus moved swiftly to block searches for “US Embassy” on the popular Twitter-like Weibo platform.
As yet there are no reasons for Jiang’s motives from the limited statements from the Chinese authorities.
“There was an explosion at approximately 1 pm today in the public space off the South East corner of the embassy compound,” a spokesperson told NBC. “According to the Embassy’s Regional Security Officer, there was one individual who detonated a bomb. Other than the bomber, there were no injuries. The local police responded.”
– additional reporting from AFP