Focus Taiwan: Attempted bomber of KMT office arrested in Kaohsiung after gun battle

Kaohsiung, Dec. 14 (CNA) A man suspected of placing an explosive device near the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Houbi District Headquarters in Tainan City on Thursday night was arrested Saturday morning in Kaohsiung City, following an overnight standoff with police.

Police said the man, surnamed Wu (吳), was captured on surveillance cameras Thursday night as he approached the KMT office on foot, placing an improvised explosive device next to the building’s main entrance.

On Friday evening, the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Kaohsiung City Police Department traced the man back to a fourth-floor apartment on Yongle Street, in the city’s Lingya District.

When these efforts failed, SWAT officers made successive attempts to break into the apartment at around 4, 5 and 7 a.m., firing tear gas and exchanging more than 100 rounds of gunfire with Wu, who was armed with a handgun.

In the final raid at 7 a.m., officers successfully arrested Wu, before transferring him to Chung-ho Memorial Hospital for treatment on four non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the neck, buttocks, and the areas under his left and right arms.

Given the target location of the crime, as well the timing being so close to the hotly-contested national elections in Taiwan on Jan. 11, Wu’s political convictions will likely become a focus of the upcoming investigation.

According to Tainan City Police Commissioner Chou Yew-woei (周幼偉), the explosive device that Wu is accused of planting contained triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which was used in the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris in November 2015 and Brussels in March 2016.

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