China police blame lone bomber for killing 8 at kindergarten gate – Washington Post

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Chinese police said Friday they believe that a 22-year-old school dropout planted a homemade explosive device outside a kindergarten, killing eight people including himself.

Written on a wall near the school: a manifesto-style rant. It said, “Giving birth is a crime,” and added that India, China and Bangladesh will not “have a good end.”

The explosion took place at 4:48 p.m. on Thursday outside a kindergarten in the city of Xuzhou in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, as mothers were gathered at the school gates to pick up their children.

There was initially some speculation that the incident might have been caused by a gas cylinder from a streetside food vendor, but it now appears the explosion will go down as the latest in a long series of puzzling and disturbing attacks on schools in China in recent years, perpetrated by people with grievances against society or with mental health issues.

Although other attacks were aimed at young children, the manifesto, if confirmed to be written by the perpetrator, would suggest that mothers might have been the target. 

Medical workers transport a person injured in an explosion outside a kindergarten in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on Friday. (Li Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

“The explosion was caused by a homemade explosive device,” Pei Jun, deputy head of the Jiangsu public security office, said at a news conference, blaming a man he named only as Xu who died at the site.

Police said their investigation, together with DNA testing, had helped identify Xu. They said he had dropped out of school with autonomic nervous dysfunction, a disorder that can cause heart and breathing problems, and went on to work and live near the kindergarten.

“Materials for making an explosive device were found at his room, and words such as ‘die’ were written on the wall,” Pei said. “At this point we believe the case is solved.”

There was no confirmation that the manifesto was written by the bomber. 

An image circulating on social media purported to show the same manifesto written on the wall of Xu’s home. Later, another photo was circulated of the same piece of wall, with the words removed. It could not be immediately confirmed if those photos were genuine.

“Crime equals giving birth, two people commit a crime, two people die, group commits a crime, group dies, country commits a crime, country dies, ethnic group commits a crimes, ethnic group dies, India, China and Bangladesh, none will meet a good end,” the statements said, handwritten in Chinese characters.

Police said 65 people were wounded in the attack, eight seriously, of whom four remain in critical condition. Many appeared to be mothers.

Videos circulating on social media showed women lying on the ground among pools of blood, some motionless and others barely moving. 

The attack happened before the children were let out of the school, and no teachers or pupils were among the victims, authorities said. But one video showed two very young children who were apparently injured — one cradled in a mother’s arms and another lying on the ground — and who may have been waiting for elder siblings to emerge from the school. 

Clothes and shoes were also seen strewn across the ground.

Although the videos could not be verified, they appeared to be from the same location as other footage posted by state media, which showed ambulances arriving, stretchers being wheeled out and police securing the scene.

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