A provincial office of the ruling Communist Party in northern China was rocked by a series of explosions that killed at least one person amid heightened tensions just days after an apparent “terrorist attack” in Tiananmen Square.
Ball bearings believed to be from homemade explosives were found after the blasts in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, several devices exploded in flower bushes in the front gate of the office, shattering windows and damaging nearby vehicles. Eight people had been injured and one was killed.
Two witnesses told Xinhua News Agency they saw a minivan exploding, sending car debris into the air. Police cordoned traffic for several hours on roads near the scene of the explosions.
The motive behind the blasts were still unknown, authorities said. However, it occurred days before a major Communist Party leadership meeting held in Beijing.
Security concerns are also high in the wake of the “terrorist attack” last week in which a vehicle drove into a crowd of people and crashed into a footbridge before bursting into flames. Five people were killed, including three in the vehicle, and wounded 40 others in the heavily-guarded historical landmark.
Authorities have blamed the incident on extremists from the restive western region of Xinjiang. Although there were no initial suggestions that the two incidents were related.
Chinese citizens took to the Internet to express their shock over the explosions.
“This proves that high-handed policies do not bring stability, it will only explode in other more furious ways.” one Sina Weibo user said.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image of Communist Party office in Lhasa: Erik Törner/Flickr