Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Nine dead as auto ploughs into square in southern China

Nine dead as auto ploughs into square in southern China

Nine people were killed after a driver rammed his auto into a crowd in the southeastern China city of Hengyang late Wednesday, according to the local government.

The red SUV drove into Binjiang square in Hengyang city, Hunan province, at 19:40 local time (11:40 GMT).

Several bodies could be seen on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

According to People's Daily Online, 54-year-old Yang is a local resident who had been arrested and jailed multiple times.

A local government statement described it as a "deliberate, malicious case of driving with intent to injure".

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An investigation has begun, the statement said, but there was no mention of terrorism as a possible motive.

China has experienced violent attacks in public places in recent years, including bombings and arson of buses and buildings, sometimes by people trying to settle personal scores or grievances against society.

China has witnessed several mass casualty attacks in recent years including an apparent terrorist attack at the Kunming train station on March 1, 2014 in which 31 civilians were killed and over 140 were injured in a mass stabbing attack perpetrated by six men and two women believed to be Xinjiang separatists.

Nine people were killed and 46 others were injured, state-run Global Times reported. In 2013, an SUV plowed through a crowd in front of Beijing's Forbidden City before crashing and catching fire, killing five, including the vehicle's three occupants. Three people are said to be seriously wounded. Police blamed the attack on Uighur extremists inspired by jihadi ideology.

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