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Parcel bombs rock southern Chinese county, killing 7, injuring 50

A view of a partially collpased residential building after an explosion Wednesday that was reportedly caused by explosives hidden in parcels, in Liucheng county in south China's Guangxi autonomous region.

A view of a partially collpased residential building after an explosion Wednesday that was reportedly caused by explosives hidden in parcels, in Liucheng county in south China’s Guangxi autonomous region.

(FeatureChina / European Pressphoto Agency)

Explosions rocked a shopping mall, a county government office, a supermarket, a hospital and about a dozen other locations in the southern Chinese county of Liucheng on Wednesday, killing at least seven people and injuring more than 50, local media reports said.

The blasts – which damaged buildings and overturned cars -- were apparently caused by parcels that began detonating shortly before 4 p.m., a local police official told state-run China Central Television.

Up to 60 other suspicious packages were identified and were being turned over to the local bomb squad for investigation, state-run media said. Police sent text messages to local residents not to open packages.

A local newspaper reported that police detained a 33-year-old man, surnamed Wei, in connection with the blasts. No motive for the attacks was immediately clear.

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Pictures circulated on China’s Weibo microblogging site showing a five-story building half-collapsed, a three-wheeled vehicle damaged, a car overturned and injured people lying on the ground. Other photos showed dust clouds rising into the air.

Other sites that were damaged included a jail, a bus stop, a worker dormitory and a food market, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said. At least two people were unaccounted for after the explosions.

Liucheng County is located in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, an area that has not previously been associated with violent unrest or terrorist attacks. The blasts came as the country is preparing to celebrate National Day on Thursday, which marks the founding of Communist China in 1949.

Staff writer Jon Kaiman and Tommy Yang in the Times’ Beijing bureau contributed to this report.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China


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