Minibus drives into Beijing market, four dead

Reuters News
|
Posted: Dec 21, 2016 8:42 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Four people were killed when a minibus drove into a market in a northern part of Beijing and many others have sustained injuries, the city's police said on Wednesday, but they did not suggest it was a militant-related incident.

The incident happened at about 3 p.m. (0700 GMT) in a small town in Beijing's largely rural Changping district, when the minibus "drove into" an agricultural market and hit people there, Beijing police said in a short statement on their microblog.

The injured have been taken to hospital, the statement said, without given a number of people involved.

Police have taken custody of the vehicle and "relevant personnel" and are investigating further, it added, without giving other details.

The official Xinhua news agency referred to the event as a "traffic accident" in an English-language report. It gave no other details apart from those already in the police statement.

China's poor traffic safety record means such incidents are common.

While the police statement did not suggest this was intentional, there have been cases in China of people seeking to settle personal scores who have carried out similar acts.

China also says it faces a threat from Islamist militants operating in its far western region of Xinjiang, who have been blamed for a series of attacks in recent years, mostly in Xinjiang but occasionally in other parts of the country.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Alison Williams)