Beijing Olympics

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Associated Press
People stand beside one of two buses damaged in separate explosions in Kunming. (AP)

Twin Bus Bombings in China Kill 2; Authorities Searching for Suspects

July 21, 2008 03:22 PM
by Cara McDonough
Two people were killed and 14 injured when two public buses exploded in the city of Kunming Monday morning. Officials described the incidents as “deliberate attacks.”

30-Second Summary

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The attacks, which hit city buses following the same route at 7:05 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., came as China is tightening security and warning of potential terrorist threats in preparation for next month’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

Kunming is the capital of the Yunnan province, in southwestern China, and is located approximately 1,300 miles southwest of Beijing.

Authorities have not yet said whether they believe the attacks were coordinated or who may have orchestrated them or why, but were searching for suspects Monday afternoon by setting up checkpoints on highways and tightening security at the Kunming airport.

The Daily Telegraph reports that one witness said he saw a “thin, short man” get off one of the buses and run down the street for 20 seconds before the bus exploded.

If not the work of terrorists, the bus attacks could be another example of the protests the country has been experiencing as the Olympic opening ceremonies draw closer, The New York Times reports.

But in advance of the Games, “the authorities are trying to tamp down embarrassing outbursts” and “have ordered local authorities to address local grievances and block petitioners from coming to Beijing.”

Headline Links: Bus blasts kill two in southwest China

Photographs: Police investigate the scene

Background: ‘Across China, Security Instead of Celebration’

Reference: Kunming

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