An explosion occurred today outside the US embassy in Beijing. About an hour later, things were back to normal.
According to the state-controlled Global Times (link in Chinese), at roughly 1pm local time, a 26-year-old man from Inner Mongolia ignited a bomb-like device at the intersection of Anjiaolou and Tianze roads, also the location of the American consulate (which the report does not refer to directly). The perpetrator, it says, injured his hand and is in critical condition.
The US embassy states that the incident caused no injuries, except to the bomber, according to Reuters.
Videos began surfacing on social media at roughly around 1:30pm local time, showing crowds and police gathering amid gusts of smoke.
Further details about the blast remain unconfirmed. China’s online censors swiftly removed many reports of the incident and social media discussions about it, adding to the confusion. Searching for the latest news of the incident on Weibo, China’s rough equivalent of Twitter, yields no results other than variations of the same statement pushed by state-media outlets, while a hashtag search for “US embassy explosion” yields no results whatsoever.
The US embassy’s public affairs office couldn’t be reached for comment.