Blast reported outside US embassy in Beijing

Official state media called the incident an attempt at 'self-immolation' and that a woman is in custody 

(Photo: Twitter)
(Photo: Twitter)

An explosion has reportedly taken place outside the US embassy in Beijing.

Witnesses said there had been a large explosion, with videos on Twitter and Chinese social media showing smoke filling an intersection and what appears to be police vehicles surrounding the area.

Police did not immediately respond to comments on the incident. The US embassy has not confirmed the explosion or cause.

The Global Times, an English-language arm of the state-run People's Daily, tweeted: "Witness says police took away a woman spraying gasoline on herself in suspected attempt at self-immolation outside US embassy in Beijing around 11 am Thursday."

Other videos showed a police cordon set up some distance from the embassy, with smoke still lingering in the air. 

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