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China

China arrests suspects, calls Tiananmen crash 'terrorist attack'

Chinese state media has declared Monday's mystery car crash on Tiananmen Square a "terrorist attack,' saying arrests have ensued. Five people, including three occupants, were killed in the incident.

Reports from China's state-run CCTV on Wednesday say that Chinese authorities made the arrests in Beijing ten hours after Monday's car crash.

The news station's report said the three people in the car, who died in the attack, and the five suspects who had been arrested belonged to the same family.

CCTV also referred to the incident as a "terrorist attack" for the first time.

An accident or an attack?

Initially, it was unclear whether the crash had been an accident or a deliberate attack on the infamous square in China's capital city.

The Chinese government's official news agency, Xinhua, quoted a police spokesperson as saying the crash was a "planned, organized, premeditated, violent terrorist act."

Chinese police announced on Tuesday that they were looking for two suspects from the restive, predominantly Muslim province of Xinjiang in connection with the crash.

It occurred near the main entrances to Beijing's Forbidden City when a white sport-utility vehicle (SUV) ploughed into pedestrians at Tiananmen Square and caught fire.

mz/ipj (dpa, AFP, AP)