SUV Plows Through Tiananmen Crowd

3 killed, 11 hurt in bizarre Beijing crash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2013 12:03 AM CDT
A picture of the crash site, taken by an AP photographer who must have made a faster getaway than his BBC or AFP colleagues.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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(Newser) – Three people were killed and at least 11 injured this morning in a bizarre car crash in the most politically sensitive patch of China. Police say an SUV plowed through a crowd in Beijing's Tiananmen Square and caught fire, crashing almost directly in front of the huge portrait of Chairman Mao in front of the Forbidden City, Reuters reports. The three occupants were killed and 11 tourists and police officers were hospitalized.

There was no official word on whether the crash at the site of 1989's bloody crackdown of pro-democracy protesters was accidental or deliberate. Barriers were erected around the site within minutes and roads leading to the square were closed, the Guardian reports. The BBC says a team it sent to cover the incident was detained for around 20 minutes, and an Agence France-Presse team was also detained and had images deleted from their cameras. (Read more Tiananmen Square stories.)

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