Four people are dead and many more injured after a minibus drive into a market in the northern region of Beijing. While China’s traffic safety record is not exactly stellar, with many on edge following the Berlin attack, this event is noteworthy as China has faced 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.
As Reuters reports, 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.
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.
The sad thing is that this event could be nothing but an accident, but in this new normal of government-inflamed fear, our biases immediately tilt to terrorism as more likely.
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