Beijing: Seven people were killed today and51 others injured as 15 multiple parcel bomb explosions targeting government buildings in China's remote southern Guangxi region sent shock waves across the country.
Official media gave few details of the blasts while photos flashed on social media showed extensive destruction to buildings and vehicles. The blasts occurred at the seat of Liucheng county and surrounding areas from 3:50 pm.
The explosions were reported across 17 locations, including a shopping mall, prison, county government office, supermarket, transport station, hospital, staff dormitory of animal husbandry, vegetable market and disease control centre.
State-run Xinhua news agency reported that police have identified a 33-year-old man surnamed Wei, a native of Liucheng county, who is suspected to have caused the blasts but gave no other details.
The Ministry of Public Security has sent criminal investigators to the scene.
Local police, firefighters as well as work safety, housing and health authorities were rushed to the blast sites. Liucheng county public security political commissar Cai Tianlai told the media that a total of 60 suspicious courier parcels had been identified.
The parcels were placed under guard pending further processing by the bomb squad, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Xinhua reported that 15 suspected letter bombs went off. Other reports said the explosives were packed in parcels sent to several areas.
Initial investigation showed that explosives could have been stuffed inside express delivery packages.
Five people died on the spot while two died in hospital, Xinhua reported, while two others are missing. The blasts devastated Liucheng county and the surrounding areas. A 30-year-old witness Li Acheng from Dapu township who owns a fruit store just 350 metres away from a building that collapsed in one explosion told the Post that he initially he thought it was a terror attack.
"I was sitting inside the shop and a sudden loud bang was heard. Some windows in my shop broke, I walked outside to see what happened and almost got hit by a window falling from the third floor. I saw a half of a building nearby collapse," Li said....