Monday, 17 February, 2020

SUV crashes into crowd in central China, killing nine

SUV crashes into crowd in central China, killing nine SUV crashes into crowd in central China, killing nine
Deanna Wagner | 13 September, 2018, 18:28

A least nine people were killed and more than 40 wounded after a driver of a SUV intentionally crashed into crowds at a busy public square in central China late Wednesday evening, local government officials said.

The incident took place shortly after 7:30pm local time Wednesday in Hengyang city in Hunan province.

Videos carried on Chinese media, such as Btime, showed several bodies on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

Police have reportedly named the suspect as a 54-year-old man, Yang Zanyun. Local officials said these clashes with the law had caused Yang to harbor a desire to exact "revenge on society".

In April of this year, nine students were killed and 10 injured in a knife attack outside a school in the Shaanxi province in Northern China.

There was no indication that the incident was terror related.

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

The suspect is thought to have served several prison sentences for convictions including arson, drug trafficking and assault.

"He drove the vehicle by himself into the crowd at Yujiang Square that night and had with him shovels and daggers to attack the crowd, intending to cause serious damage", a Thursday police statement said.

Occasionally, the attacks are attributed to militant separatists, though such attacks have become less common in recent years.

But the Chinese government has long anxious about the potential for extremists or separatist groups to carry out similar attacks.