Videos are currently circulating online of a mysterious car crash that occurred earlier today in Tiananmen Square.
The footage shows an overturned military jeep emitting smoke on the road right in front of the iconic Gate of Heavenly Peace with its portrait of Mao Zedong as police try to push onlookers back.
Currently, not much is known about the incident, which occurred at around 7:20 a.m. this morning. While there are rumors of a planned attack and explosion, Chinese state media has called the incident a “vehicle rollover” in which a driver and cyclist were injured.
— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) February 3, 2017
And it appears that the situation at the square has since returned back to normal.
— Raphaël Balenieri (@RBalenieri) February 3, 2017
Meanwhile, mentions of the incident are being expunged from Chinese social media. According to Free Weibo, “Tiananmen” has become the 5th most censored term on Weibo at the moment.
Watch the footage below:
The incident can’t help but recall an attack made by Uighur separatists on October 28th, 2013 when a jeep crashed into a pedestrian walkway near Mao’s portrait. Five people were killed in the attack, three inside the vehicle and two others nearby, and an additional 38 people were injured.
While initially Chinese authorities were vague about the “car fire.” A few days later, Beijing police called it a suicide terrorist attack, leading to the arrests of five Uighur suspects, three of which were later convicted of masterminding the attack and executed in 2014.
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