Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Investigators check the site of a series of blasts at a damaged building in Liucheng county in Liuzhou in south China's Guangxi province on September 30, 2015.

STR/AFP / Getty Images

More than a dozen blasts killed at least seven people in southern China on Wednesday barely an hour before workers went home for one of the biggest holidays on the Chinese calendar.

The "massive" explosions came from package bombs sent to 13 public places, including a hospital, local government office, shopping mall, prison, vegetable market, disease control centre and supermarket, state media reported.

Local police quickly said terrorism was not to blame, calling it a "criminal" matter and saying they had a 33-year-old suspect, surnamed Wei.

Story continues below advertisement

But the co-ordinated attacks, which came just before 5 p.m. and the start of the Oct. 1 National Day holidays, injured at least 50 and left wide-scale destruction.

Photos published online showed a cloud of smoke rising into the air, a half-collapsed building, a vehicle thrust onto its side in a rubble-filled street and victims covered in blood and dirt being aided by people on the streets.

Most of the explosions hit Liucheng, a county in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region located 300 kilometres northeast of the border with Vietnam. One also hit nearby Liuzhuo, a historic city of four million frequented by tourists, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Those near the blasts posted messages on social media about their tremendous force. One person described a bomb on the ground floor of a building that destroyed the first-floor stairwell and sent a bicycle flying 40 to 50 metres. "The blast hit everywhere – a bus stop, hospital, even the government building," the person wrote. "So frightened."

Those near the attack labelled it an act of terror.

"I always thought terrorists or bombs were very far away from me, but this happened right next to me!" another person wrote on social media. "Until that moment I didn't understand that danger is really everywhere."

Another added: "Should take a knife to kill whoever did it."

Story continues below advertisement

China has in recent years grappled with a series of deadly attacks, in some cases blaming terrorist extremists, in others local criminals or people acting out of desperation.

Car, knife and bomb attacks have hit tourist sites, train stations and vegetable markets in Beijing, the southern city of Kunming and Urumqi, the capital of China's western Xinjiang region. China has blamed people associated with a separatist movement in Xinjiang. That region has seen violent tensions between authorities and the Uyghurs, a largely Muslim minority group, and China has raised concern about ties between Uyghur extremists and other international terror groups.

But local concerns have also propelled violence. In 2013, a series of bombs killed one and injured eight others outside the local Communist government office in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province. That blast littered streets with nails and metal pellets. Police later arrested a 41-year-old ex-convict, and said they had discovered homemade bombs at his home, although observers questioned the speed of the arrest.

Chinese cities regularly experience protests from groups with all sorts of grievances, including unpaid workers, members of minorities who feel they have been mistreated and people concerned about forced relocations and industrial development near residential areas.

With a report from Yu Mei.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies