Tiananmen Square terror attack

Five held for Tiananmen Square terror attack, all Uygurs from Xinjiang

Three who died in jeep in a 'carefully planned' assault were Uygurs from the same family

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 6:20pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 October, 2013, 3:21pm

Five suspects have been detained in connection with the car crash and explosion in Tiananmen Square on Monday, which authorities described for the first time as a "terrorist attack".

The suspects are all Uygurs from various parts of the restive Xinjiang region, according to an earlier police notice. The notice, which was sent in the hours after the fiery crash and reviewed by the South China Morning Post yesterday, warned authorities to look out for seven people.

Video: Scenes from the Tiananmen Square car crash

The five were arrested 10 hours after a jeep careened along a pedestrian walkway in front the square's famed gate tower and exploded in flames after it hit the Jinshui Bridge, killing three occupants and two tourists, Xinhua said. The report did not say whether any other suspects remained at large, only that the investigation was ongoing.

The report, which raised the number of injured from 38 to 40, also gave the first official explanation. "The incident was a premeditated terrorist attack that was carefully planned and organised," it quoted a police spokesman as saying.

Police found a petrol container, two meat cleavers, a metal bar and a flag printed with extremist religious messages in the SUV.

The report said the people in the jeep set it on fire using petrol.

Police said the three killed in the vehicle were from the same family. The driver was identified as Usmen Hasan. His wife, Gulkiz Gini, and mother, Kuwanhan Reyim - both from far western Xinjiang - were also in the car.

Authorities, who launched a massive manhunt for the suspects, found knives and another jihadist flag at the residence of another suspect.

The police notice mentioned four women and three men from Xinjiang, a heavily Muslim region that has been the site of several violent clashes with police.

The two women who died in the jeep were among the seven named. Those detained were three men and two women.

Hotels have been asked to look out for suspects, including Liu Ke, a 21-year-old Sichuan native.

In two separate notices, police ordered car repair shops to keep watch for vehicles with Xinjiang number plates, especially those that appear to have been refitted. The two notices listed five number plates registered in Urumqi , Kashgar and Kuytun.

The Philippine embassy in Beijing is co-ordinating with the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau to repatriate a Filipino man and his two daughters injured in the crash. The man's wife, a doctor, was among the two tourists killed, along with a man from Guangdong.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo would seek information about the incident through diplomatic channels, as one of the injured was a Japanese man.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying offered her condolences.