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Store blast a 'criminal' act

AN explosion that rocked a store in a town in Guangdong Province last night and injured 14 people was a deliberate criminal act, the local government said this morning.

The government of Humen Town said police investigations indicated the explosive involved was not a military type. Experts are still investigating.

Three of the 14 injured were seriously wounded. They were part of a crowd that had gathered to watch television outside a store when the explosion occurred at about 8.30pm, the government said.

The injured are all in hospital - one is in a critical condition. Eight of the victims were women.

The blast shattered windows in neighboring stores and workshops, according to today's South Metropolis Daily.

The owner of a shop opposite said the windows in her shop were shattered and the street was filled with black smoke.

A security guard at a nearby factory said he felt the blast on the fifth floor of the factory which is more than 100 meters away.

A woman surnamed Tang who was in the crowd in front of the show said she had not seen anyone acting suspiciously before the explosion.

Police have cordoned off the site.

Xiang Dingren is in the Humen Taiping People's Hospital. "He may have to lose his left arm," a doctor told the South Metropolis Daily report.

Humen, in Guangdong's Dongguan City, is renowned for a historic incident involving opium.

China's national hero Lin Zexu (1785-1850) destroyed more than 1 million kilograms of opium taken from English and American smugglers at Humen in 1839.


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