Local police have identified the man responsible for a Thursday explosion near a kindergarten in the eastern Chinese city of Xuzhou, which killed eight people, including the bomber. On Friday, investigators released the suspect’s surname, Xu, but offered no details regarding his motive. “The explosion was caused by a homemade explosive device,” said Pei Jun, the deputy police chief of the Jiangsu public security office, at a Friday news conference. “At this point, we believe the case is solved.”
At around 4:50 p.m. local time on Thursday, a bomb was set off just outside the Chuangxin Kindergarten, where relatives waited to pick up their children, who were still in school. Two people died at the scene, while another six died after being taken to a local hospital. An estimated 65 people were injured, with eight reportedly still in critical condition. The majority of those injured are believed to be passers-by or relatives—mostly mothers—of the kindergarteners. Video footage from the scene indicates that two young children, presumably the students’ siblings, were wounded in the attack.
While initial reports suggested that a gas cylinder from a local street vendor had caused the explosion, authorities now believe the attack was targeted. After reviewing security camera footage and DNA from the scene, investigators say they have uncovered enough evidence to hold Xu responsible. Pei also told reporters that authorities discovered materials for making an explosive device in Xu’s residence near the school. He added that the Chinese characters for words like “death,” “decease,” and “end” were written on the wall of the suspect’s room.