A car driven by an ethnic minority Uighur ran through the crowd outside the Forbidden City in Beijing yesterday and exploded into flames as it slammed into one of the gates of the former imperial palace, killing three onboard and two pedestrians.
Two Uighur men inside the vehicle had previous experience participating in protests in Beijing and had underwent "correctional education" by Chinese authorities, according to the Chinese language World Journal.
A Filipino tourist and a Chinese citizen from Guandong Province died and thirty-eight other sustanined injuries as the SUV drove on to the pedestrian pathway outside the Forbidden City across from Tiananman Square.
Beijing Public Security Bureau have ordered a check on the client names of all hotels and recreational facilities in the city in an attempt to find any accomplices in the incident.
Immediately after the incident, authorities closed down the subway station at Tiananman Square and cordoned off the scene of the explosion, placing a curtain around the perimeter of the burned SUV.
Witnesses at the car crash said on Sina Weibo that armored vehicles and ambulances filled Tiananman Square carrying the injured to nearby hospitals.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday did not comment when asked if the incident was a terrorist attack during a press conference.