Beijing: The suspect who carried out 17 parcel blasts that killed seven people and injured 51 in China had allegedly hired street vendors to deliver the packages containing explosives, officials said, ruling out that the incident was terror-linked.
The Ministry of Public Security said it was treating the explosions in Liuzhou city in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region as criminal acts and emphasised that it had ruled out terrorism as a motive, state-run China Daily reported.
"It was a premeditated and planned criminal act, aimed at creating public panic during the holiday," said Dai Peng, director of the Criminal Investigation College at the People's Public Security University of China.
China has shut down for a week to celebrate the National Day yesterday.
The explosions, which took place on Wednesday afternoon, killed at least seven people and injured 51 others in Dapu township, the seat of Liucheng county, and surrounding area.
Two people are still missing. According to the Liuzhou police, the suspect, 33-year-old Liucheng native Wei Yinyong, hired street vendors to deliver express mail packages containing explosives.
The devices exploded when the parcels were opened, the official media reported.
No details were provided so far about his motive in carrying out such massive multiple explosions targeting, a shopping mall, a prison, a government building, a supermarket and a hospital.
Wei who was arrested lives in Dapu township, and is a former employee of a quarry in Liucheng county.
Some of the bombs were placed in location in advance and then detonated remotely, such as the device that wrecked the dormitory of the Animal Husbandry Bureau in Liucheng, killing four people and injuring many others.
On Thursday, Cai Tianlai, a senior officer at the Liucheng County Public Security Bureau, said officers discovered more than 60 suspicious packages after tipoffs from the public.
The packages were placed in an isolation area, where experts disarmed them and began further investigations, he said.
The authorities in Liuzhou have tightened supervision of the delivery of packages, and the local branch of the State-owned China Post has halted all mail deliveries until Saturday.
The Liuzhou police warned public not to accept materials delivered by strangers or accept parcels received via unofficial channels.
They said further investigations were underway.
A private residence near the Highway Administration Bureau was also damaged in an explosion on Thursday morning, according to Xinhua reporters at the scene, although it was not immediately known if there were any casualties.
Some of the critically injured people were being treated at the Liucheng county People's Hospital.