Sacked cashier in China bank bomb attack

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The Independent Online

A cashier sacked for stealing money hurled a petrol bomb inside a bank in north-western China today, injuring dozens of people, some of whom jumped from a fifth-floor window to escape.

Employees of the Tianzhu County Rural Credit Co-operative Union were meeting at about 8am local time when the employee threw the bomb, the propaganda office of the county's Communist Party said.

It said more than 40 people were hurt, 19 seriously, and some of the injured jumped from the meeting room window on to a three-storey building.

The statement identified the cashier as Yang Xianwen and said he was sacked last month for "embezzling bank money". It said Yang fled the scene and was being hunted by police.

A witness reached by phone and the official Xinhua News Agency described ambulances and police streaming to the scene in the county seat of Tianzhu in Gansu province.

The injured, with visible burns, were carried out of the building on stretchers, according to an unidentified witness.

A woman at the Tianzhu County Hospital's security office said about 20 victims had been sent there.

Tianzhu is an area of pasturelands stuck between deserts and mountains with about 200,000 people.