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Bomber has confessed, China says

Jin Ruchao
Suspect Jin Ruchao questioned by police  

HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- A deaf man detained over a string of explosions that killed 108 people in north China has confessed how he single-handedly plotted the almost simultaneous blasts, the People's Daily has reported.

The newspaper, China's top communist party mouthpiece, on Tuesday published a detailed and graphic confession by Jin Ruchao along with photos of his arrest and interrogation, his divorce papers and his sister's report to police.

The surprisingly high-speed investigation was completed 11 days after the four pre-dawn blasts that killed 108 and injured 38 in the industrial city of Shijiazhuang.

Earlier police said Jin, 41, was helped by accomplices or a criminal gang in the city.

Jin was arrested last week in the southern coastal city of Beihai, in China's biggest manhunt in 18 years.

Jin told police he returned to Shijiazhuang in March after murdering his girlfriend in southern province of Yunnan, the paper said.

He bought explosives from Wang Yushun, who runs an illegal explosives workshop at a village near Shijiazhuang.

Wang made the explosives from ammonium nitrate and put them in a dozen yellow plastic bags marked as "chicken feed" and charged Jin 950 yuan ($115).

Wang has also been arrested.

Jin bought fuses and detonators from a miner last year and hid them under a pipe at a factory outside the city.

The paper said Jin over several trips rented a broken motorcycle, a van, and a tricycle to transport the explosives to another village just outside Shijianzhuang, lying to people that he was carrying stock feed.

He then rented a red motorcycle to transfer the explosives to several dormitory buildings in the city on March 15.

"After busily doing all these, Jin Ruchao hid himself in a heat pipe at a power plant and went for a sleep," the paper described.

Jin got up at 2 am and called a taxi to a railway station where he hired a strong-built tricycle driver to transfer bags of "chicken feed".

Jin placed the bags by himself in stairways and next to walls of the dormitory buildings.

The paper said Jin was sentenced to 10 years in jail for rape in 1988 and conducted a vendetta against people who lived in the dormitories that he blew up.

The dormitories housed Jin's stepmother, his estranged wife, her husband and parents, and his sister who had been in a dispute with him over the sale of their mother's flat.

About 4:16 am, Jin blew up two dormitory buildings at Number Three Cotton Mill and hailed a taxi to set off explosives at another dormitory building at a construction company at 4:30am.

The next two blasts went off with a 15-minute gap between them. During these short breaks, Jin managed to hire different taxis and rushed around the city to detonate his explosives.

The paper quoted Jin's sister Jin Lixiang as saying he had a long fascination over bombs -- he collected bomb-making chemistry books, and made explosives at home in 1988.

The paper even published a photo of Jin's divorce paper that police found in his pocket when he was arrested.

"This was a fight between the righteous and the evil," the paper declares.

However local residents in Shijiazhuang are skeptical as to how Jin, who only communicates with a pen and paper, could have masterminded the blasts so skillfully.

Rumors around the city suggested laid-off workers may be responsible.

The city, a textile industry center, is full of laid-off workers who became vicitms in a mass restructuring of the textile sector.

Some residents also suspect the blasts were linked to feuding gangsters or corrupt officials.

China arrests suspected bomb supplier
March 27, 2001
China bomb suspect confesses
March 23, 2001

People's Daily

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