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Suspect arrested over fatal blasts in Shanxi

Smoke rises near the office building of the Shanxi provincial Party committee in Taiyuan on Wednesday. Police are investigating the bomb blasts that killed one and injured eight. Photo: Xinhua

A 41-year-old ex-convict has been detained over explosions that killed one and injured another eight in North China's Shanxi province, police said Friday.

Feng Zhijun was apprehended around 2:00 a.m. Friday and confessed to the crime, the Shanxi provincial government said in a statement. It said that Feng had been previously sentenced to nine years in prison for theft, but gave no word on a motive for the blasts.

Bomb making materials and a "large amount" of other evidence was found at Feng's residence, the statement said.

The home made bombs that were placed in at least two locations outside the provincial Communist Party headquarters in the city of Taiyuan were packed with ball bearings and nails intended to inflict shrapnel wounds.

One of those injured was in serious condition and the windows of cars and buses were blown out by the blasts.

The attack came during heightened security following a suicide car crash at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing that killed the car's three occupants and two bystanders in what officials called an act of terrorism committed by Muslim militants from Xinjiang.

Shanxi, of which Taiyuan is the provincial capital, is a mountainous province west of Beijing in China's gritty coal belt. Demand for the fuel has created vast fortunes for mine owners, but many in the province still live in severe poverty.


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