Massacre: China Blames Separatists for Knife Attack; 33 Dead, 130 Injured

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KUNMING, China (AP) – More than 10 assailants slashed scores of people with knives at a train station in southern China, drawing police fire, in what authorities called a terrorist assault by ethnic separatists based in the far west, state media said Sunday. Thirty-three people were killed and 130 wounded.

china-knife-medicPolice fatally shot four of the assailants , arrested one and were searching for the others following the attack late Saturday at the Kunming train station in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Witnesses described attackers dressed in black storming the train station and attacking people indiscriminately.

Student Qiao Yunao, 16, was waiting to catch a train at the station when people starting crying out and running, and then saw a man slash another man’s neck, drawing blood.

“I was freaking out, and ran to a fast food store, and many people were running in there to take refuge,” she told The Associated Press via Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblog. “I saw two attackers, both men, one with a watermelon knife and the other with a fruit knife. They were running and chopping whoever they could.”

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The attackers’ identities were not yet confirmed, but evidence at the scene of the attack showed that it was “a terrorist attack carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces,” Xinhua quoted the municipal government as saying. Authorities considered it to be “an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack.”

The far western region of Xinjiang is home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule by separatists china-knife-victimsamong parts of the Muslim Uighur (pronounced WEE’-gur) population.

Most attacks blamed on Uighur separatists take place in Xinjiang, where clashes between ethnic Uighurs and members of China’s ethnic Han majority are also frequent. Saturday’s assault took place more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to the southeast in Yunnan, which has not had a history of such unrest.

However, a suicide car attack blamed on Uighur separatists that killed five people at Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate last November raised alarms that militants could be changing tactics and aiming to strike at soft targets throughout the country.

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In an indication of how seriously authorities viewed the attack – one of China’s deadliest in recent years – the country’s top police official, Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, arrived in Kunming on Sunday morning and went straight to the hospital to visit the wounded and their families, Xinhua reported.

The violence in Kunming came at a sensitive time as political leaders in Beijing prepared for Wednesday’s opening of the annual meeting of the nominal legislature where the government of President Xi Jinping will deliver its first one-year work report.

Xi called for `’all-out efforts” to bring the culprits to justice. In a statement, the Security Management Bureau under the Ministry of Public Security said that police will “crack down the crimes in accordance with the law without any tolerance.”

A Xinhua reporter in Kunming said firefighters and emergency medical personnel were at the station and rushing injured people to hospitals, while police were investigating. The news agency said that in addition to the four attackers killed, 29 people described as civilians were confirmed dead and 130 injured….Read more>>>

KUNMING, China (AP) –The Associated Press

Associated Press reporters Didi Tang, Ian Mader and Gillian Wong and video producer Aritz Parra in Beijing, and researcher Fu Ting in Shanghai, contributed to this report.


One Comment on “Massacre: China Blames Separatists for Knife Attack; 33 Dead, 130 Injured”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet KUNMING, China (AP) – More than 10 assailants slashed scores of people with knives at a train […]


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