Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Vehicle rams through public square in China killing several

Vehicle rams through public square in China killing several

At least nine people died and 46 were injured after a vehicle ploughed into a crowded square in southern China on Wednesday.

Around 7.30pm, a driver ploughed his vehicle into several people in the square in Hengyang City, Hunan province, the local government said in a posting on Weibo, China's popular social media platform.

Videos on social media showed people lying scattered across the square following the incident.

Another 46 people were wounded, three of them severely, the government said in a news release.

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A local government statement described the event as a "deliberate, malicious case of driving with intent to injure".

Local government officials said the the driver had a criminal record and he was detained at the scene.

One video, taken from above the square, showed dozens of people running from the area, screaming. Authorities have no yet given a motive and no official mention of terrorism has been made.

The suspect is thought to have served several prison sentences for convictions including arson, drug trafficking and assault.

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But the Chinese government has long anxious about the potential for extremists or separatist groups to carry out similar attacks.

China has experienced violent attacks in public places in recent years, including bombings and arson of buses and buildings, sometimes by people trying to settle personal scores or grievances against society.

"There was a vicious incident that a person drove deliberately into crowds at Mijiang Square of Hengdong County", the release said.

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