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Explosions in North China city, Taiyuan kill 1, injure 8

Beijing, Nov 6 (): Several small bombs exploded in front of the provincial government headquarters of China’s ruling Communist Party in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province and a northern Chinese city, on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring another eight, state media said.

The explosions happened at about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, just over a week after a car exploded in the heart of Beijing. CCTV, Chinese state television stated 20 vehicles have been damaged, some of which had windows blown out and said the blasts had sprung from flower beds. From the place of explosion, steel ball bearings were recovered, raising suspicions about the usage of home-made bombs, Xinhua said.

Official reports said witnesses have reported seven blasts in the spot. It also said public security officials are currently on the scene and working all-out to investigate the incident.

Authorities termed the incident as a “terrorist attack” and have said that it was done by several people with links to a separatist group known as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from China’s far-western Xinjiang region, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

Chinese social media websites posted photographs that showed clouds of smoke, scattered debris and an injured bystander lying on a street in front of the Party offices.

Last week’s attack on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square happened when a car carrying three Uighurs from the Muslim-majority Xinjiang area drove into a crowd and burst into flames. Two tourists were killed and 40 others injured in that incident. The Tiananmen attack was blamed by Chinese authorities on the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a terror group that has in the past organized attacks in Xinjiang.

In recent years, China has witnessed a number of attacks by distressed citizens on local government offices, often related to the loss of their land or miscarriages of justice. The Taiyuan explosions come ahead of a highly expected meeting of top party leaders in Beijing this weekend, in which broad economic reforms are among the items expected to be discussed on the agenda.