|Date||March 16, 2001|
The Shijiazhuang bombings (Chinese: 靳如超爆炸案 or 石家庄“3·16”特大爆炸案) were a series of bomb blasts that took place in the city of Shijiazhuang, China on March 16, 2001. A total of 108 people were killed, and 38 others injured when within a short period of time several bombs exploded near four apartment buildings. Many doubted the official explanation that it was motivated by the accused's hatred for his ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law and a lover.
A single man, Jin Ruchao (C: 靳如超, P: Jìn Rúchāo), was blamed and arrested for planning and carrying out the bombings. The People's Daily reported that he used taxis to get to each destination. After pleading guilty, Jin was sentenced to death and executed, along with three others who supplied Jin with about 1,300 pounds of homemade explosives. The investigation found that Jin was motivated by hatred for his ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law and a lover; he had previously threatened to blow up their buildings.
The explosives were made from ammonium nitrate and contained in plastic bags marked as "chicken feed". ANFO explosives have historically been the large bomb of choice for professional terrorists worldwide, including the Provisional IRA, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and ETA, Ramzi Yousef (who was closely associated with Al Qaeda) on the World Trade Center in 1993, and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The attack was the biggest mass murder in China in decades. Following widespread public fear, the Chinese Government published a lengthy description of the bombings. Jin was arrested following a manhunt and a posted 100,000 RMB ($12,000) reward, which had been doubled from an initial 50,000 RMB. China scholar Andrew Scobell described it as perhaps the worst terrorist act in the history of the People's Republic of China. There were rumours that Jin was a scapegoat with no knowledge of explosives, and that the blast could have been orchestrated by disaffected ex-employees of who had been laid-off in China's restructuring.
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