Guangxi parcel bomb suspect ‘was angered by government failure to end village fight over family quarry’
The sole suspect in a series of deadly parcel bomb attacks in Guangxi has been confirmed dead in one of Wednesday’s explosions, Xinhua reported on Friday, citing Liuzhou city police.
Police in Guangxi said the blasts were carried out by 33-year-old Wei Yinyong, and DNA tests had confirmed his remains were at one of the blast sites, the report said. No other suspects were named in the report.
The county of Liucheng was rocked by a series of blasts this week – 17 on Wednesday afternoon and one the next morning, which together claimed 10 lives and injured 51 people.
The explosions were all caused by time bombs Wei either delivered himself or sent by courier, the report said. The brief police statement said Wei was in dispute with villagers over a stone quarry he had a stake in.
Wei’s brother and father told the South China Morning Post on Friday that Wei was frustrated when protesting villagers forced the closure of the quarry and the local authorities failed to negotiate a solution.
Wei had been the manager of the Zhihao Stone Quarry since it opened in 2003. The quarry was named after its founder Wei Zhihao, who became Wei’s father-in-law in 2009. The quarry had a major upgrade in 2010, with both men taking out bank loans to buy more than a million yuan’s worth of equipment, according to Wei’s brother, who would only identify himself as Luo.
Angered by the frequent explosions at the quarry, more than 100 residents from the village of Zhaijiaotun, less than 1km from the site, marched to the quarry on October 28, 2013, and smashed the machines, forcing an immediate shutdown.
Luo said Wei became withdrawn in the second half of 2014 after repeated requests to local government departments to resolve the dispute ended without success.
“He knew there was no way the quarry could reopen but he just wanted a solution from the government,” Luo said.
His frustration was evident on a social media page which Luo confirmed was created by his brother.
“When it comes to a day when I become crazy, please remember I have been fooled like an idiot when I was pure and innocent,” the page’s main post said.
Villagers confirmed Luo’s account of the smashed equipment.
“His quarry was smashed for a reason,” one resident said, as government officials watched nearby. “Kids were scared of the sound of the explosions and windows were damaged by its shock waves.”
The quarry was built on the father-in-law’s land but the project should not have gone ahead without their approval, residents said.
Wei Yinyong, father of a six-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son, was home for dinner on Tuesday, the day before the explosions, but said nothing special, according to his father. “He was a well-behaved kid and had no bad thoughts,” the father said.
Wei Yinyong’s father and brother were both taken away by police on Wednesday night but were released a day later. The brother was taken away again on Friday. Wei Yinyong’s wife and father-in-law were also in custody for questioning.
Wei Yinyong’s father and brother said they could not believe he planned the explosions.
“I don’t accept the accusations. There’s not enough evidence,” the brother said.