China says suspect arrested in deadly bomb attack
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police on Friday arrested an ex-convict suspected of setting off a series of explosions outside ruling Communist Party offices in a northern city that killed one person and wounded eight.
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 the 41-year-old 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.
Wednesday’s blasts were reminiscent of the kind of revenge attacks occasionally launched by disgruntled citizens in China. Assailants angered at perceived injustices have blown up buses, stabbed officials and attacked schools.
Homemade bombs are often the weapon of choice in such cases because firearms are tightly controlled and very hard to obtain in China.
The 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 western China.
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.