Car PLOUGHS into crowd in busy square - three dead and 43 injured

Lamar Ellis
September 13, 2018

At least 11 people were killed and more than 40 injured after a driver intentionally plowed a auto into a busy square in southern China on Wednesday night and attacked pedestrians with a knife and spade, local officials said.

An SUV entered Binjiang square in Hengyang city, Hunan province, at 7.40pm local time Wednesday (5.40pm AEST).

Several bodies could be seen on the ground as bystanders tended to some of them.

Police arrested the suspected driver, a 54-year-old Chinese man named Yang Zanyun.

The Hengdong County government confirmed in a statement that at least 9 people were killed and 46 others were injured.

An investigation has begun, the statement said, but there was no mention of terrorism as a possible motive. Yang, whose gender has not been revealed, has a long criminal record including convictions for drug dealing and theft, Reuters reported.

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Knife attacks by disgruntled people in public places and schools to highlight their grievances periodically occur in China.

One video, taken from above the square, showed dozens of people running from the area, screaming.

Occasionally, the attacks are attributed to militant separatists, though such attacks have become less common in recent years.

Police blamed that attack on Muslim separatists from the Uighur ethnic minority group.

In 2013, an SUV ploughed through a crowd in front of Beijing's Forbidden City before crashing and catching fire, killing five, including the vehicle's three occupants. Three people are said to be seriously wounded.

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