At least one person killed and more injured amid several blasts outside building in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province
Jonathan Kaiman in Baotou
- theguardian.com, Tuesday 5 November 2013 21.26 EST
At least one person was killed and eight injured when a series of explosions rocked the street outside a provincial Communist party office in central China on Wednesday morning.
The blasts occurred at 7.40 AM outside of the Shanxi Communist party committee offices in Taiyuan city, the provincial capital of Shanxi province, according to China’s official newswire Xinhua.
“Judging by steel ball bearings scattered throughout the scene, [police] suspect an improvised explosive device,” Xinhua reported. “Right now the police have blocked off the scene and the incident is under investigation.”
The state broadcaster CCTV attributed the blasts to seven bombs hidden in roadside flower displays.
One person was killed and eight wounded, one of them seriously, the Shanxi provincial government reported on its website, citing local police. More than 20 vehicles were damaged, CCTV reported.
cited two eyewitnesses, Liu Guoliang and Zheng Quan, as saying that while driving on the street on Wednesday morning they heard a loud sound; about 20 seconds later they saw a great deal of smoke and a burst of fire.
Pictures posted online showed a column of smoke rising in front of the building near a congested thoroughfare; others showed one person sprawled in the middle of the road and the street lined with fire engines.
China has been on high alert for violent attacks since last week, when a sports utility vehicle ploughed through pedestrians in Tiananmen Square, crashed into a marble bridge and exploded, killing five people and injuring 40. Authorities labelled that incident a terrorist attack and blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a shadowy group based in Xinjiang, a north-western region of China.