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Blasts rock China’s top universities

Beijing, Feb. 25 (Reuters): Blasts caused by home-made explosives tore through cafeterias at China’s top two universities within two hours of each other today, injuring at least nine people, police and school authorities said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts, which shocked students accustomed to lives of relative safety on the Peking and Tsinghua university campuses.

“It’s just too frightening,” said Wang Xiaohui, a 24-year-old Peking University law student who had left the cafeteria 10 minutes before the blast.

“I thought China was the safest place in the world right now. ...I never thought this would happen in a school.”

Fuelled by easy access to explosives, China has seen bombings linked to disgruntled workers, spurned lovers and Muslim separatists in recent years. But today’s bombs, which appeared to be linked, were the first at these universities.

The explosions came as police tightened security ahead of the annual session of the National People’s Congress, or Parliament, which opens next week.

“Initial police investigations show the two explosions were caused by home-made black gunpowder explosives,” the police said.

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