© Screen from TG Norba 24 TV Chanel

Several bomb blasts have struck a professional institute in the southern Italian city of Brindisi, killing one student and injuring seven. The three blasts hit as students arrived for morning lessons at the institute.

Local authorities report that the incendiary devices were planted in a trash bin opposition the professional institute Morvillo Falcone.

One of the injured has died in hospital while another has been transferred to nearby Perrino for emergency surgery.

"I was opening the window when I felt the force of the blast. I saw children thrown to the floor, blackened by the explosion, their books on fire. A truly terrifying scene. Who could've have done such a thing?" said a witness of the blast to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The explosions went off at around 8am local time (06:00 GMT), causing widespread panic among the students arriving at the school.

The building has now been evacuated and cordoned off for police investigation.

Security has been stepped up throughout Italy after a recent shooting which wounded a nuclear energy official. The anarchist group "The International Revolutionary Front" who claimed responsibility for the attack has also threatened to attack a number of key politicians including Italian PM Mario Monti.

The spiraling economic crisis and harsh austerity measures have raised fears of an increase in political violence across the country.