Nine dead and dozens injured after SUV ploughs into crowd in China

At least nine people are dead and dozens injured after a car crashed into a busy square in China.

A red SUV ploughed into people gathered in Binjiang square in Hengdong city, Hunan Province at 7.40pm local time (11.40 GMT), the city government said.

Police arrested the suspected driver, a 54-year-old Chinese man named Yang Zanyun. He had previously
served several prison sentences for crimes including arson and assault, the Beijing Youth Daily said.

Video footage from the scene shows people running away from the scene, with emergency vehicles parked in the street.

The newspaper, a publication of the ruling Communist Party’s youth league, said on its official microblog account that police were investigating the crash. There was no mention of terrorism or any other motive.

Around 46 people were injured, the Hengyang city government office in charge of online information and propaganda said.

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.

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

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.

Police blamed the attack on Muslim separatists from the Uighur ethnic minority group.


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