A migrant worker set off an explosion in front of a primary school in the resort city of Guilin after the school rejected his child as a pupil, according to a source close to local police.
The blast killed two people - including the father - and injured 44, including 22 primary-school children. Eleven of them were in serious condition in hospital yesterday.
The incident happened at about 7.10am when a three-wheeled motorcycle driven by the man exploded as it passed the entrance to the Balijie Primary School.
The source said surveillance footage showed the man riding the vehicle and heading for the school entrance.
"The blast happened just a few metres from the school's entrance. That's why the casualty count was high, because many adults were accompanying their children to the school or were passing by the site," he said.
"According to the initial findings, the man was in his 30s and had argued with the school's management after he was told his child was not qualified to gain admission," the source said.
Police are still investigating the incident but have not stated what the explosives were.
According to the Beijing News, the motorcycle driver was from a nearby county and worked in Guilin, in Guangxi . Surveillance video showed the motorcycle catching fire and then exploding, the report said.
The blast left a dozen motorcycles strewn around the site and broke the windows of cars and stores near the school.
An assistant principal of the school, who refused to give his name, said yesterday that places in the school were very limited and many children of migrant workers were on the waiting list.
The shortage of educational opportunities in cities for such children has long been a problem and a source of resentment.
In June, a 59-year-old petitioner set off a fatal fire on a bus in the rush hour in Xiamen , Fujian , killing 47 and injuring 34.
The petitioner, who died at the scene, left posts online complaining that he was unable to receive social security insurance because the police made an error when recording his age and they had not taken his problem seriously.