Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

SUV crashes into crowd at public square in China, killing 9

SUV crashes into crowd at public square in China, killing 9

At least 46 people were hurt, three of them seriously, when a red Land Rover plowed into a crowd at 7:40 p.m. local time (7:40 am ET), the media office in Hengyang said.

Video footage from the scene on Chinese media shows people running out of a packed square.

"There was a vicious incident that a person drove deliberately into crowds at Mijiang Square", the local government said in a press statement, as cited byCNN.

In April of this year, nine students were killed and 10 injured in a knife attack outside a school in the Shaanxi province in Northern China.

Police have detained the driver of the auto, who they say had a criminal record, according to the local government. There was no mention of terrorism or any other motive.

Police have taken the driver - a man in his 40s surnamed Yang - into custody, describing him as a "vengeful repeat offender". He was a known criminal having served various prison sentences for arson and assault convictions.

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

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.

"He drove the vehicle by himself into the crowd at Yujiang Square that night and had with him shovels and daggers to attack the crowd, intending to cause serious damage", a Thursday police statement said. Police have also previously blamed such attacks on militant separatists.

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