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Man held over deadly blasts at Chinese Communist Party offices

By Paul Armstrong and Feng Ke, CNN
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
Police cordon off the street outside the provincial Communist Party headquarters in Taiyuan after the blasts on Nov. 6.
Police cordon off the street outside the provincial Communist Party headquarters in Taiyuan after the blasts on Nov. 6.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police arrest 41-year-old Feng Zhijun during early morning raid
  • One dead, eight hurt following blasts outside Communist Party offices in Shanxi
  • According to police, Feng admitted to causing the explosions
  • Occurred days before major Communist Party leadership meeting in Beijing

(CNN) -- A local man has been arrested in connection with a series of explosions that rocked Communist Party offices in a northern Chinese province earlier this week.

The suspect, named as 41-year-old Feng Zhijun, was captured during a raid on his home at 2 a.m. local time on Friday morning, police in Shanxi said, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The report said Feng admitted causing the blasts.

One person died and eight others were hurt when several devices exploded in flower bushes in front of the gate of the Shanxi Provincial Communist Party offices in the city of Taiyuan on Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The blasts shattered the windows of nearby vehicles and shredded some of their tires, CCTV reported. Footage from the scene showed cars with smashed windows and smoke rising in central Taiyuan.

Deadly bombing rocks Northern China
China calls Beijing attack terrorism

Xinhua reported that steel beads were scattered at the scene, suggesting the explosive devices were homemade.

More explosives were recovered from Feng's home in Taiyuan during the early morning raid Friday, as well as the vehicle he used, according to a post on the official Shanxi account on Weibo -- China's Twitter-like service.

Party leadership meeting

Authorities are still investigating the incident, which occurred days before a major Communist Party leadership meeting is set to start in Beijing this weekend.

Security concerns are already heightened in China following a deadly attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square last week in which a vehicle drove into a crowd of people, crashed into a footbridge and burst into flames.

Chinese authorities have blamed Uyghurs from the western region of Xinjiang for that attack, which killed five people -- including the three in the vehicle -- and wounded 40 others in the heavily policed heart of the Chinese capital.

A top Chinese security official said last week that a murky Islamic separatist group had instigated the attack.

There are no suggestions that the blasts in Taiyuan are related to the Tiananmen attack.

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