Suicide bomber in attack on judge

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 April, 2006, 12:00am

A suicide bomber set off explosives in a judge's office in Sichuan province, injuring the judge in an apparent revenge attack.

A spokesman for the Guangyuan city government yesterday confirmed the attack, which happened on Wednesday. The blast occurred on the fifth floor of the court building.

'The suspect was killed by the hidden bomb he carried on his body, while the judge sustained head wounds from the explosion,' the spokesman said.

He said police were trying to verify the identity of the bomber but his face was not recognisable after the blast and there were no identity papers on him.

'Based on his physical features, we can only confirm that he was a man in his 60s. Police have tried their best to determine his identity and to find out if there is any link between the bomber and the judge,' he said.

Liang Xiaogang, director of the court's political department, confirmed 55-year-old judge Wang Youqin was injured in the blast.

'Mr Wang's condition has been stable since an emergency operation. We decided to strengthen our security arrangements after the explosion,' Mr Liang said.

He said that previously there were no security checks on people entering the court building.

Mr Liang rejected local media reports that the suspect was a handicapped person with one leg.

'The suspect was a healthy person because a surveillance camera at the scene showed he walked normally when he entered our office,' Mr Liang said.

A local police spokesman said: 'It's a serious and critical case because it happened inside a government building. It's inconvenient to say anything about it because we are still investigating and collecting evidence.'

Local media reported that officials were shocked by the incident and local party chief Gao Feng had appointed a special team to investigate the case, headed by one of his deputies, Li Maosen.