China blasts
Series of explosions rock Taiyuan in China's northern province of Shanxi - (Google Maps) Google Maps

A series of blasts near the provincial headquarters of China's ruling Communist Party have killed one and injured at least eight others.

The explosions took place in Taiyuan in China's northern province of Shanxi.

"There were several explosions caused by small explosive devices near the party provincial commission in Taiyuan. Public security officials are currently on the scene and working all-out to investigate the incident," said a police statement.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the police suspect scattered steel balls suggest that the blasts could have been caused by home-made bombs.

As many as eight blasts have been reported by witnesses. Photos uploaded on micro-blogging sites have shown badly damaged vehicles due to the blasts.

The area has been cordoned off and investigators are probing the incident. Fire-fighters and rescue officials are already on the scene.

The state-run CCTV said the explosives were detonated in flowerbeds but Xinhua, citing witness accounts, reported that the explosions took place after a minivan exploded.

The cause of the blasts remains unclear, but such incidents are not uncommon in China, given the increasing anger against Beijing over corruption and pollution-related issues.

Government officials blamed Islamists for a car crash in Tiananmen Square which killed five people recently.