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Shijiazhuang bombings

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Title: Shijiazhuang bombings  
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Subject: Capital punishment in China, ANFO, Terrorism in China, Oklahoma City bombing
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Shijiazhuang bombings

Shijiazhuang bombings
Jin Ruchao
Location Shijiazhuang, China
Date March 16, 2001
Attack type
Weapons Bombs
Deaths 108
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Jin Ruchao

The Shijiazhuang bombings (Chinese: 靳如超爆炸案 or 石家庄“3·16”特大爆炸案) were a series of bomb blasts that rocked the city of Shijiazhuang, China on March 16, 2001. A total of 108 people were killed,[1] and 38 others injured when within a short period of time several bombs exploded near four apartment buildings.[2] Many doubted the official explanation that it was motivated by hatred for his ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law and a lover.


A single man, Jin Ruchao (C: 靳如超, P: Jìn Rúchāo),[3] was blamed and arrested for planning and carrying out the bombings. The People's Daily reported that he used taxis to get to each destination.[4] After pleading guilty, Jin was sentenced to death and executed, along with three others who supplied Jin with about 1,300 pounds of homemade explosives.[2] The investigation found that Jin was motivated by hatred for his ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law and a lover;[5] he had previously threatened to blow up their buildings.[5]

The explosives were made from ammonium nitrate and contained in plastic bags marked as "chicken feed".[6] ANFO explosives have historically been the large bomb of choice for professional terrorists worldwide, including the Provisional IRA, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and ETA, Ramzi Yousef (who was closely associated with Al Qaeda) on the World Trade Center in 1993, and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Jin paid 950 RMB ($115) to Wang Yushun, the owner of an illegal explosives workshop near Shijiazhuang.[6]


The attack was the biggest mass murder in China in decades.[7] Following widespread public fear, the Chinese Government published a lengthy description of the bombings.[8] Jin was arrested following a manhunt and a posted 100,000 RMB ($12,000) reward,[9] which had been doubled from an initial 50,000 RMB.[10] China scholar Andrew Scobell described it as perhaps the worst terrorist act in the history of the People's Republic of China.[11] There were rumours that Jin was a scapegoat with no knowledge of explosives,[9] and that the blast could have been orchestrated by disaffected ex-employees of who had been laid-off in China's restructuring.[9]

On 29 April 2001, Jin Ruchao, Wang Yushun (S: 王玉顺, T: 王玉順, P: Wáng Yùshùn), and Hao Fengqin (S: 郝凤琴, T: 郝鳳琴, P: Hǎo Fèngqín) received the death penalty for their roles in the bombings.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "China says 108 killed in blasts".  
  2. ^ a b Kuhn, Anthony (April 19, 2001). "4 Sentenced for Blasts in China That Killed 108".  
  3. ^ "扭曲的心态--石家庄爆炸案主犯靳如超日记剖析".  
  4. ^ Rennie, David (28 Mar 2001). "'"Chinese bomber 'went to his targets by taxi.  
  5. ^ a b "Hatred, Revenge Motive for Fatal Shijiazhuang Explosions".  
  6. ^ a b Tang, Rose (March 27, 2001). "Bomber has confessed, China says".  
  7. ^ Gittings, John (20 March 2001). "Manhunt for mass killer fails to pacify Chinese".  
  8. ^ ROSENTHAL, ELISABETH (March 28, 2001). "Beijing Publishes Detailed Account of Bombings".  
  9. ^ a b c "China blast reward doubled".  
  10. ^ Bodeen, Christopher (18 March 2001). "Chinese police in search for bomber".  
  11. ^ Martin I. Wayne, “China’s war on terrorism: counter-insurgency, politics, and internal security,” (New York, NY: Routeledge, 2008).
  12. ^ "石家庄特大爆炸案终审宣判 元凶靳如超昨日伏法" (in 简体中文  
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