Blast in China kills 8, hurts 60

seen as intentional


BEIJING -- An explosion Monday in a county seat in southeastern China killed at least eight people and injured more than 60, according to local officials.

The cause of the blast has not been determined, officials said, but a local journalist said there was evidence that it was intentional, and one doctor said victims had nails in their wounds. No motive nor suspect was announced.

The explosion was the second this month in Hunan province, the site of recent worker and farmer protests over corruption, unpaid wages and taxes.

Used in mines and elsewhere, explosives are widely available in rural China. Accidental explosions and blasts set in personal vendettas or robberies are not rare. There has been no public evidence that the recent explosions in Hunan or others reported around the country involved political motives.

Pub Date: 1/29/99

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