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Serial blasts rock Communist party building in China

world Updated: Nov 06, 2013 19:57 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
bomb blasts

Multiple bomb explosions rocked morning traffic in front of Communist Party of China (CPC) building in northern China on Wednesday morning, killing one person and injuring at least eight others.

At least eight bombs went off in rapid succession in front of the building of Shanxi Provincial Committee of the CPC in the northern Chinese city of Taiyuan, the provincial capital of Shanxi, the city’s public security bureau said in a statement.

The serial blasts struck at around 7-40 in the morning as the office-hour rush was picking up.

The loud explosions triggered panic as cars and buses abruptly stopped, leading to a pile-up. Pedestrians scattered in panic.

Photographs of the site, shared on Chinese microblogging sites, showed black smoke bellowing high above the buildings nearby.

The wounded were shifted to the nearest hospitals. Among the eight injured, one was seriously wounded.

“A big bang was heard and heavy smoke and flames were seen when Liu Guoliang, a witness, was driving from west to east on the Yingze overpass,” state-run Xinhua said in a report.

Liu, who was waiting in his car at a traffic light in front of the CPC building, was quoted by the state media, as witnessing a minivan explode with thick smoke coming out of it and debris scattering all around.

Police and emergency teams were rushed to the spot. The scene of the crime was immediately cordoned off and traffic redirected.

A team from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal was deployed to hunt for remaining explosive devices but found none.

“The presence of steel beads and circuit boards found scattered at the scene by an initial investigation indicate the incident was caused by self-made bombs,” state media reported.

Wednesday’s incident comes barely a week after what the Chinese government has claimed to be a suicide attack carried out by Islamists at Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing.

No explanation has been offered about today’s attack, which the government said in the evening was carried out by “self made bombs”.

But such small-scale attacks are not uncommon in China and many are carried out by citizens disgruntled over issues like corruption or highhanded treatment by local officials or police.

The recent incident at the Beijing Capital International Airport where a wheelchair-bound man exploded a home-made device inside a terminal was the result of a personal grievance.

In 2011, according to Reuters, a farmer bombed three government buildings in Fuzhou city in Jiangxi province after failing to get redress over seizure of his land. Two people and the farmer were killed.

It also gave the example of a 42-year-old farmer with terminal lung cancer detonating a home-made device aboard a bus in Fujian province in 2005, injuring 31 and killing himself, possibly to protest prohibitive healthcare costs.

The incident is likely to give authorities a jolt as they tighten security before top CPC leaders gather on Saturday for a plenum meeting in Beijing to discuss key reforms.