Man Detonates ‘Homemade’ Explosive, Woman Pours Gasoline on Herself Outside U.S. Embassy in Beijing

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an explosive that was detonated outside the United States Embassy in Beijing on Thursday afternoon.

The explosion, which occurred outside the southeast corner of the compound in Chaoyang District at around 1 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET), only injured the man suspected of detonating the bomb.  

“There was one individual who detonated a bomb. Other than the bomber, there were no injuries and there was no damage to embassy property. The local police responded,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement.

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Beijing police identified the suspect by his surname Jiang, who is from Tongliao in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia. Jiang reportedly injured his hand and is in a non-life threatening condition, CNN reports.

“He is hospitalized and no one else was injured. His surname is Jiang, 26, from Inner Mongolia. Case is under further investigation,” according to a statement from the police.

Jiang had been diagnosed with a paranoid personality disorder in late 2016, the South China Morning Post reports.

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Image via Wikimedia Commons / N509FZ (CC BY-SA 4.0)

While the U.S. Embassy spokesperson described the explosion as being caused by a “bomb,” the Beijing police referred to it as “a small, homemade device described as similar to a firework.

Image from Weibo (via Hong Kong Free Press)

Government internet censors were also quick to clean up Chinese social media of netizens’ opinions and theories about the incident. Discussions on WeChat and Weibo were quickly scrubbed, leaving only the official police statements.

State-run Global Times reported a separate incident that involved a woman arrested by the police after spraying gasoline on herself in an apparent attempt to self-immolate outside the U.S. embassy at around 11 a.m. It was not reported whether the two incidents were related.

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An anonymous witness told Reuters that he saw a middle-aged woman carrying two buckets of gasoline. Written on her back were the Chinese characters for “sue them.”

Featured Image via YouTube / Hong Kong Free Press

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