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Report: Cafe bomber confesses to bus bombing

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According to Chinese media reports, Kunming police have stated that the man involved in yesterday's bombing at Salvador's Coffee House confessed to involvement in the unsolved July bus bombings shortly before dying.

Kunming police told the Yunnan Info Daily that yesterday's blast was not due to a natural gas canister explosion - as had been reported earlier by some Chinese media - but rather ammonium nitrate, the same compound which was reportedly used in the bus bombings this summer.

Police said the ammonium nitrate had been brought in to the restaurant by the man, whose identity has yet to be made public. The blast, which appears to be an accidental detonation, went off in the back of the restaurant outside of the kitchen, severing the man's legs.

According to the Yunnan Info Daily report, police had found more than 8,500 yuan (US$1,240) on the man, as well as a piece of paper with nine red thumbprints scattered across it, which, according to the report, may suggest involvement by other individuals in the bomb detonation at Salvador's Coffee House and perhaps also July's bus attacks.

The man is not the first to take credit for the bombings of buses on Renmin Lu which killed two and injured 14 – the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) claimed responsibility for the blasts in late July, vowing to attack again during the Beijing Olympics. Yunnan security officials denied ETIM's involvement in the incidents.

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guys, what can I say?
Wenhuaxiang hasn't been out of troubles lately, but never could I expect something like happening next door to my place.
Once again, I'm relieved in knowing that no one got hurt.
Then, once again, I'm disappointend because chinese media will never stop misinforming people and treating them (us) like stupids.

In all this, a hug to you guys, merry christmas from italy and see you soon.

Francesca - the Box.

I would like to send my best wishes for a healthy and happy new year especially to the staff of Salvador's.
Additionally, I should like to say that there is plenty of unrelated police evidence to suggest that the eventual 'official' story may need a pinch of salt. For example, congratulations to the PSB for, now, solving the bus bombing!
Again, Happy New Year.

The miracle is that no one else was hurt.

Like most of you, I'm of course skeptical about the police killing two birds with one stone and asking a man with severed legs if he had committed other crimes before dying...but that's the official story and unfortunately there isn't any more information to go on at this time.

Just to clarify, isn't an ammonium nitrate bomb essentially a fertilizer bomb? I may be wrong on this but I think it is...in which case it's doubly surprising nobody else was hurt, as bombs like that are incredibly powerful.


I really think that we are so gullible. If both of his legs were severed then you would have died within seconds if not minutes because of complete lost of blood expecially since the arterial veins were severed which will make his blood gush out like an ocean and lose conscienceness. Don't believe the hype!


if you look at the chinese news, you can see it's all bullshit. ridiculous report.

A few comments on a few of these comments:

'If both of his legs were severed then you would have died within seconds if not minutes because of complete lost of blood expecially since the arterial veins were severed which will make his blood gush out like an ocean and lose conscienceness.'

Not sure what an arterial vein is, but the searing heat of the explosion may have cauterized his major blood vessels. The Xinxibao report did say that much of his leg mass had been reduced to 'cooked meat shreds'.

Also, one of the owners of Salvador's who saw the bomber in the hospital said the man was still alive - just barely - when the police took him to the hospital to confirm whether or not he had ever seen the guy in Salvador's before (he hadn't).

'if you look at the chinese news, you can see it's all bullshit. ridiculous report.'

While I am as skeptical about Chinese media reports as the next person, I think it's a bit much to assume that they're 100% wrong all the time. There are some writers who are trying to do the best possible job they can, and the Xinxibao reporter seems to have gotten closer to what I've heard from people who were there at the time than the other laughable stories by the likes of China Daily and Sina.

Although many Westerners like to think of the Chinese media as a massive propaganda machine, it is composed of many private companies that are trying to make money. Some - as in the West - do it through sensationalism or fearmongering. Others - who occasionally run into trouble with Big Brother - try to provide accurate and useful information to their readers. Chinese and Kunming media has a long way to go, but it has also come a long way in recent years.

Finally, it may seem 'convenient' that this guy confessed to the bus bombings prior to dying, but is it inconceivable that someone involved in the biggest bombing since the bus bombings may have also been involved in those very same bus attacks? I'm not convinced either way, but I wouldn't rule out any possibility at this point.


Chill out Chris!!!! You drank too much coffee. It is what it is to each one of us. I think in the long run it doesn't really matter. People will think what they will. Life goes on.


hey, glad no one else got hurt.

but what do the owners and the staff of salvador say? i mean, chris, you got certainly a good link to them to ask them directly.

i do have doubts in either way. concerning the bus bombings, i do have doubts that it was ETIM, they confessed way too late and why should they have done it in Kunming?
that it was no terrorist attack back in that time is also hard to believe because that would be too much of an coincidence. the rubber farmers? hard to tell. and now? why should anybody attack the foreign community in kunming? out of commodity if they don't want to go to shanghai, sure. the only ones i would see interested in hurting foreigners are nationalist extremists. or it wasn't targeted at the foreign community.
still this could be no attack at all but an accident as mentioned in the first place.

hope that there will be light.
one of the many chrises (unfortunatly already gone from kunming)


another question. the link you posted said that salvadors was opened by 4 americans and 1 japanese. is that right? yesterday the chinese media said that "according to the reporters understanding the bar's owner is an italian", implementing of course that this reporter didn't understand much.

how many folks are involved in salvadors?


I expect rumors to fly around, interbreed and mutate for a few days, before we have a true idea of what happened. Who knows, maybe it was a suicidal ex-boyfriend.


I think Lester might be on to something. This crime could be completely personal in nature. China has very strict gun control laws, so where in the US a person would grab a gun and wave it around to make a statement, people in China have to be somewhat more creative.

It is also possible that at 10:30 am not that many restaurants were open, and Salvador's was simply the busiest place in the area.


another Chris, the owners Salvador's of are well-known among the expat community in Kunming. You can certainly trust gokunming in this instance, and in fact the owners as well as their family members posted in the comments section of the original story. There are no Italians involved in Salvador's, the Chinese media must be confused if that's what they're saying.


Re: "Italian owners", the newspapers have probably confused Salvador's with The Box.


My Chinese friends are talking about this. This is against foreign motive.
Laowais, please go home before you bring more danger to our country.

xiaoliu 76, let me remind you that foreigners didn't plant the bomb. We didn't "bring" any danger to "your" country. The anti-foreign sentiments did.


xiaoliu76, that statement is totally ingnorant.


Please stop using this blog for fighting and bickering. This affects all of you.
Please if anyone has real details about what happened post it rather than writing nonsense.

If this case is like many others in Kunming, it will be quite some time before we hear any solid information regarding the case.

The police have a huge job on their hands now, and are certainly feeling the pressure of having to explain (or attempt to explain) what exactly happened that morning, and why.

I must say I'm really surprised at the lack of attention this has received in the national news. Having a potentially western-targeted attack anywhere in China is huge, and could be a very ominous sign of things to come. Let's all hope it was just a random act of aggression as Lester has pointed out.


Hey xiao liu. why not make your way over here and I'll teach you a free English lesson first. Your grammar and punctuation are terrible. How can you disrespect the English language so much?
Why did you learn English?
Go back to school Little Liu

xiaoliu's comment that Chingis refers to has been deleted. Comments or forum posts that threaten individuals or groups with violence are not welcome here.

Following along the lines of Timkunming, I'm amazed that the international press hasn't picked up this story as well. In fact, I've been doing frequent web searches and haven't turned up anything beyond the expat blogs.

The police may have a lot of pressure from government departments above them, but so far no one from the press is there to breath down their necks. If we want to hear anything at all about the results of the investigation, we need the international press asking questions. Start writing those letters to the editors, people.



BEIJING, Dec 27 (Reuters) - A man suspected of carrying out two bus bombings in the southwest Chinese city of Kunming in July was killed in a blast in a coffee shop earlier this week, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

Li Yan was killed in Kunming on Wednesday when an ammonia bomb in his backpack unexpectedly went off as he was walking out of the bathroom of the coffee house, Xinhua cited Du Min, vice mayor and head of the city's public security bureau, as saying.

No other people were hurt in the blast, it said.

Traces of the explosives and DNA samples taken from the scene matched those from two bus bombings in the city on July 21, leading police to confirm that Li was behind the earlier bombings, Xinhua said.

They later found ammonia explosives, electric detonators, bullets and a home-made gun in Li's apartment, it said, adding that he had been sentenced to nine years in jail for robbery and other charges in 2001 but was released early for good behaviour.

Two people died and 14 were injured in the July bus bombings, which happened amid a nationwide security clampdown weeks ahead of the Beijing Olympics. (Reporting by Jason Subler)


Thank you, kmman, for the Reuters story.

I'm the mom of one of the co-owners, and I happen to work at a small daily paper in the U.S. I got in touch with our state AP office, which forwarded my email to the AP bureau in Beijing. That office is headed by someone from my (and my son's former) state.

Very odd that AP hadn't picked it up, other than it being Christmas and a lot of people are on vacation, etc.

Im disappointed that the administrators of this website suspended the comments on the original post. Though the thread certainly had "strayed into less palatable territory," I think that people were having an important discussion about laowai identity.

Whether or not Salvadors was the intended target of the attack, this event has revealed that there is some level of tension between foreigners and locals in KunMing. The comments in that thread show that some Chinese folks have a very negative perception of foreigners, and some foreigners smugly live up to that negative stereotype.

Left to open discussion, I think we would see the voice of the tolerant, cooperative and educated majority drown out that of the closed-minded, antagonistic, and ignorant minority.

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