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Kindergarten bomb was homemade, suspect died in blast

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 16/06/2017
The blast occurred before school had finished for the day [AFP] © Provided by Al Jazeera The blast occurred before school had finished for the day [AFP]

A 22-year-old man made the bomb that exploded at the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China, killing eight people, including himself, investigators said.

The public security ministry announced in a statement on Friday that the suspect, surnamed Xu, suffered from health problems and rented a room near the kindergarten in Fengxian, where Thursday's blast occurred.

Police found material to make a homemade explosive device at the apartment. Emblazoned on its walls were the Chinese characters for death, disaster and other related themes. 

Police informed that the suspect was identified primarily using security camera footage and DNA collected at the blast scene.

Xu had left school because of a nervous system disorder, whose symptoms can include depression, anxiety, dizziness, vision problems and problems with basic bodily functions, the police said at a news conference.

Two people died at the scene and six died after being taken to a hospital. More than 60 people were injured, including eight listed in critical condition.

The blast at the Chuangxin Kindergarten occurred before school finished for the day and no students or teachers from the kindergarten were among the injured, according to a statement from local authorities.

The explosion in Jiangsu province left victims bleeding and weeping, with images posted on state media showing some had their clothes torn off by the force of the explosion.

A witness, identified only by the surname Shi, said the force of the blast sent people flying several metres into the air, according to the state-run Global Times.

Pictures showed more than a dozen people outside the building, many lying on the ground and some appearing to be unconscious, including a small child.

This is the latest in a string of tragedies to strike school children in China in recent months.

A school bus packed with kindergarten pupils erupted in flames inside a tunnel in eastern Shandong province on May 9, killing 11 children, a teacher and the driver.

Officials later said the fire was intentionally set by the driver, who was angry at losing overtime wages.

There have also been knife attacks at schools in recent years, the most recent being in January, when a man armed with a kitchen knife wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in southern China.

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