Explosion reported near US Embassy in Beijing | News | DW | 26.07.2018
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Explosion reported near US Embassy in Beijing

A 26-year-old man set off an explosive device outside the US Embassy in Beijing, Chinese police said. The blast took place in an area where visa applicants line up for interviews, although only the suspect was injured.

A man wielding a small, homemade device caused an explosion outside the US Embassy in Beijing, police said on Thursday.

The 26-year-old suspect suffered an injury to his hand, police said, adding that no others were wounded. Authorities said the man was a native of Tongliao city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.

In a separate statement, the US Embassy described the device as a bomb, and said the explosion occurred around 1 p.m. local time (0500 GMT) in a public area near the southeastern corner of the compound.

"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," the spokesperson said.

Both Chinese police and US officials did not comment on a possible motive.

Blast hits embassy district

People in the area posted pictures on Twitter showing smoke enveloping the streets outside the US Embassy building, as well as several police vehicles.

Stephen McDonnell, a correspondent with the BBC, tweeted a video outside of the US Embassy, saying that police told reporters not to film the area.

Police were seen picking up debris outside the embassy and sealing it in plastic bags, reported Sky News correspondent Tom Cheshire on Twitter. He added that whatever happened took place outside the embassy and not inside the gates.

One witness told the state-run Global Times newspaper that police had taken away a woman who sprayed gasoline on herself in a "suspected attempt at self-immolation" outside the US Embassy. They later tweeted that it was unsure if the event was related to the alleged explosion.

The area where the incident took place is located on the outskirts of the Chinese capital where several embassies are located, including those belonging to the US, France, Israel and India.

Although the US and China are currently embroiled in a trade dispute , the US remains a popular destination for travel and immigration for Chinese citizens.

rs/rc (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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