A bomb, and a self-immolation in Beijing


An improvised bomb exploded near the U.S. embassy in Beijing several hours after a woman tried to self-immolate in the same area. It appears from eyewitness accounts in the media that both incidents were acts of protest, but were not connected.

  • The police detained a 26-year-old man surnamed Jiang from Inner Mongolia, according to a message posted (in Chinese) by Ping’an Beijing 平安北京, the official Sina Weibo account of Beijing’s Public Security Bureau. The note says he had exploded a “firecracker device,” injuring his hand. No one else was hurt.
  • “Police took away a woman spraying gasoline on herself in suspected attempt at self-immolation outside US embassy in Beijing around 11 am Thursday,” according to a tweet from the Global Times. In another tweet, the nationalist rag said “it is not proved yet the incident is related to an alleged explosion around the US embassy in Beijing later” — there was a two-hour time difference between the events.
  • Plainclothes agents dragged away a woman who had tried to share photos and videos of the explosion with journalists — Becky Davis of Agence France-Presse tweeted video and photos of the incident.
  • Censors quickly deleted photos of smoke wafting around the U.S. Embassy and eye-witness reports that had spread on social media after the blast. China Media Project captured some of the deleted postings.
  • For more on the explosion and attempted self-immolation, see SupChina or Reuters.

Smoke and confusion after explosion outside U.S. Embassy in Beijing