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China suspects Tiananmen Square car fire was a suicide attack


China

China suspects Tiananmen Square car fire was a suicide attack

Police in China say they believe a car that careered into Tiananmen Square killing five people on Monday was a suicide attack.

“It looks like a premeditated suicide attack,” a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions for talking to the foreign media.

Security has been stepped up all around the popular tourist attraction, already one of China’s most sensitive and well-guarded locations.

The vehicle appeared to have driven several hundred metres along the pedestrian pavement in front of the Forbidden City entrance before bursting into flames, knocking down people as it went.

The three occupants in the car died, as well as two tourists while 38 others were injured.

Now authorities have launched an appeal for information about two suspects from its restive far western Xinjiang region.

Beijing has blamed Uighur separatists and religious extremists for a series of attacks over the years in Xinjiang, saying they want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

However, the unrest is not believed to have ever spilled over into the nation’s capital.

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