Chinese police said Friday that they think that a 22-year-old school dropout planted a homemade explosive device outside a kindergarten, killing eight people including himself.
Written on a wall near the school was a manifesto-style rant: “Giving birth is a crime,” it said, and added that India, China and Bangladesh will not “have a good end.”
The explosion took place at 4:48 p.m. Thursday outside the kindergarten in the city of Xuzhou in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, as mothers were gathered at the school gates to pick up their children.
There was speculation initially that the source of the blast might have been a gas cylinder from a streetside food vendor, but it now appears that the explosion is the latest in a long series of puzzling and disturbing attacks on schools in China in recent years, perpetrated by people with grievances against society or with mental health issues.
Although other attacks were aimed at young children, the manifesto, if confirmed to be written by the perpetrator, would suggest that mothers might have been the target.
“The explosion was caused by a homemade explosive device,” Pei Jun, deputy head of the Jiangsu public security office, said at a news conference, blaming a man he named only as Xu who died at the site.
Police said their investigation, together with DNA testing, had helped identify Xu. They said he had dropped out of school with autonomic dysfunction, a disorder that can cause heart and breathing problems, and went on to work and live near the kindergarten.
“Materials for making an explosive device were found at his room, and words such as ‘die’ were written on the wall,” Pei said. “At this point, we believe the case is solved.”
There was no confirmation that the manifesto was written by the bomber.