Man sets off bomb at Beijing airport

2013-07-21T00:00:00Z Man sets off bomb at Beijing airportWilliam Wan The Washington Post Arizona Daily Star
July 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

BEIJING - A man in a wheelchair with apparent grievances against authorities set off a homemade bomb at Beijing International Airport Saturday night, according to Chinese state media, injuring only himself but shocking travelers and sending authorities scrambling.

State-run China Central Television reported on its website that the man tried to distribute fliers at the scene about his grievances but was stopped. He then exploded a bomb made of black powder normally used in firecrackers, CCTV said.

The man, whom police identified as Ji Zhongxing, born in 1979 from Heze City in Shandong province, was then taken to a hospital, according to CCTV.

Apparent witnesses posting pictures of the incident online said the man in the wheelchair had warned them to stand back before the explosion.

"It was pretty powerful. You could feel it in your chest," said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, from the International Crisis Group think tank, who was in the same terminal. "There was dust, smoke, people running away, police, people running in to take pictures."

Reached by phone, Beijing police said they had no information on the incident.

In a 2006 online blog on a popular Chinese forum, a man named Ji Zhongxing described being severely beaten in 2005 by local authorities while he was earning money by giving rides on his scooter. Wielding steel batons, officers broke his back, paralyzing him from the waist down, he wrote.

The blog was taken down Saturday night, but it was unclear whether it was removed by government censors.

Public anger at police and security officials is common in China, especially among China's many migrant workers who are often beaten and harassed for working street jobs without licenses.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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