SHANGHAI — Police in China said Tuesday they had detained a man accused of detonating a remote-controlled bomb in a Shanghai supermarket, destroying several lockers but causing no injuries.
The suspect, identified only by his surname Qu, was arrested three hours after the bomb exploded at about 2:00 pm on Monday, police said in a statement. Police said the man had confessed to the attack.
The statement did not hint at a possible motive, but authorities across China have been very concerned about the possibility of public unrest stemming from a range of grievances, with soaring inflation topping the list.
China sees thousands of protests and other public disturbances each year, often linked to anger over official corruption, government abuses and the illegal seizure of land for development. But bomb attacks are rare.
In May, a disgruntled farmer was blamed for a triple bomb attack on government offices in the eastern city of Fuzhou that killed four people including the attacker.
The farmer was apparently frustrated with the lack of progress in a legal case he had filed with authorities, state media reported, without providing further details.
Staff at the Shanghai supermarket, a three-storey RT-Mart, began evacuating people after an employee received a call at 1:10 pm from a man threatening to blow up the store, the Shanghai Daily reported, citing the local government.
Employees found a suspicious device in a locker on the ground floor for customer use, but the police bomb disposal team failed to arrive before it exploded, the report said.
“I was startled by a deep and heavy booming sound at 2:00 pm,” Pan Huayi, who runs a tea store near the supermarket, told the newspaper.
“It sounded like great thunder strikes as it was raining hard. I didn’t realise that it was an explosion until people rushed out of the supermarket.”
The blast damaged a nine-square-metre (100-square-foot) area, the report said.