China blames unemployed man for bus hijacking in which 8 killed

BEIJING, Dec 26 - Police have detained an unemployed man who hijacked a bus in southeastern China after a dispute with a neighbourhood official that resulted in eight people being killed, state media reported.

The 48-year-old man, with the family name Qiu, hijacked the bus on Tuesday afternoon in Longyan in the southeastern province of Fujian, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday.

"The initial police investigation showed that on that day, the suspect had a conflict with an official of the neighbourhood committee, with whom he had long been at odds, during the official's visit to his home," Xinhua said.

"He then attacked people with a knife, hijacked a bus and used it to hit pedestrians," it said.

As well as the eight people killed, 22 others were injured, one seriously, the report said. The government had initially put the death toll at five.

Pictures on Chinese social media, picked up by some Chinese news outlets, showed a chaotic scene on the street, with crushed motor-bikes and injured people on the ground.

One video showed police apparently wrestling the suspect to the ground.