An explosive has been detonated on the street outside the US Embassy in Beijing, close to the main compound, an embassy spokesperson told CNN.
A small amount of debris could be seen at the scene of the explosion, outside the southeast corner of the compound, which took place at about 1 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET) on Thursday. An area outside the embassy in the Chinese capital’s Chaoyang district was cordoned off by authorities.
“There was one individual who detonated a bomb. Other than the bomber, there were no injuries and there was no damage to embassy property. The local police responded,” the US Embassy spokesperson said in a statement.
Many users on social media in the Chinese capital posted videos showing a large cloud of white smoke rising from the area around the embassy.
Police in Beijing said they were investigating the explosion on Thursday, adding the bomber had only injured his hand and his condition was non-life threatening.
“He is hospitalized and no one else was injured. His surname is Jiang, 26, from Inner Mongolia. Case is under further investigation,” the statement said.
There was no mention of the US Embassy in the police statement. Most mentions of the explosion have been tightly censored and removed from China’s social media site Weibo, including a large number of personal accounts.
Speaking during his daily press conference, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said the explosion was an “isolated security incident.” “Chinese police have dealt with it in a timely and proper manner,” he told journalists.
The US Embassy in Beijing is one of the most secure in the world, with state of the art technology and a heavy security presence.
Developing story, more to come.