BEIJING — The death toll in a dynamite explosion on a Shanghai-bound express train rose to 24 today, and Chinese state television, showing dramatic footage of the twisted, gutted carriage, said the blast was "man-made."
It was not clear whether Monday's blast was linked to massive public anger over the June 3-4 army operation against pro-democracy protesters in Beijing and the subsequent repression of sympathizers across the country.
Three men were executed in Shanghai last week for attacking a train that had plowed through demonstrators blocking the line. Seven other people were executed in Beijing.
A diplomat in Shanghai, China's largest city and industrial hub, said he understood that the explosion aboard the train was "deliberate."
Another envoy said the possibility of sabotage was high. "It's hard to imagine anyone accidentally dropping dynamite into the toilet."
Possibly coincidentally, security in Beijing appeared to have been further strengthened, with many more troops on the streets. Parts of the Chinese capital have been under martial law since May 20.
The mass media, still pouring out propaganda to justify the decision to send troops with tanks against unarmed protesters, killing hundreds, published for the first time a key speech about the crisis by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and ordered everyone to study it.
Deng's June 9 address to top military and Communist Party leaders was already required reading for the 47 million party members out of the total population of 1.1 billion.
Now the speech has been revealed to all.
State radio broadcast long extracts, and the official New China News Agency issued the full text, ensuring it will be splashed across newspaper front pages Wednesday.