• Thu
  • Sep 18, 2014
  • Updated: 9:06am

Xinjiang attack that leaves 31 dead denounced as ‘violent terrorist incident’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 9:24am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 2:21am

At least 31 people were killed and more than 90 injured in an attack yesterday on a street market in Xinjiang.

Two off-road vehicles ploughed into people in the regional capital, Urumqi, and unidentified assailants threw explosives, Xinhua reported. The cars then crashed head-on and one exploded. The authorities did not identify the suspects.

Watch: Dozens dead and scores injured in Xinjiang 'terrorist' attack

It was not clear who was behind the violence, but the authorities have blamed a series of attacks in public places in recent weeks on Muslim ethnic-Uygur separatists from Xinjiang.

Yesterday's incident in North Gongyuan Street was the bloodiest single act of violence in the restive northwestern region since about 200 people were killed in clashes in Urumqi in 2009 between Uygurs and ethnic Han Chinese.

The Ministry of Public Security described it as a "serious violent terrorist incident". And President Xi Jinping called for those behind the incident to be severely punished.

The injured were sent to hospitals for treatment and the scene was sealed off for several hours. Photographs posted on social media showed injured people on the ground, with clothes and other items strewn across the street.

Fan Fangfang, who owns a small supermarket in North Gongyuan Street near the scene of the blasts, said that she had been woken by loud bangs.

"I heard at least six or seven explosions. It sounded horrible," she said. "I didn't dare to go out to have a look."

Fan said the makeshift market's customers and vendors were mainly Han Chinese and that more than 100 sellers set up their stalls in an 800-metre-long section of the street.

"The people who come here are innocent ordinary people: housewives, retired people and hard-working market sellers. Why and who would attack us in this way?" she said.

"Where can I go to be safe in the city in the future? Nowhere will be safe. I feel very worried."

A number of crowded public places have been targeted on the mainland in recent months.

A bomb and knife attack at the end of last month at the main railway station in Urumqi killed one bystander and wounded 79 people. Two attackers also died.

Security in the city has been tightened since the attack, which happened as Xi was ending a visit to the region.

Twenty-nine people were stabbed to death at a train station in Kunming in March.

In October, a car burst into flames in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, killing five people, in what the government said was a terrorist attack.

Tensions between Han Chinese and Uygurs in Xinjiang have been simmering for years. Human rights organisations and Uygur exiles say curbs on their language, culture and religion have created anger, a claim that Beijing rejects.


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This article is now closed to comments

The quotation marks on terrorist make me sick. A paper refused to recognize 39 civilians killing as terrorist attack makes me feel like there is no justice or independent thinking in it at all. These people who write every Xinjiang and Uygur article in the same pattern should learn how to show respect to their profession.
The SCMP's jounos should not be given the priveliege of using their journalistic license to brainwash its readers with its pro-West & anti-China bias. When the West (the US in particular) says it's a Terrorist Attack, The SCMP endorses it like a faithful parrot. But when the Chinese says it, it becomes an attack or within inverted commas meaning Maybe or Maybe Not.
SCMP and a fair amount of its journalists are funded by MI6 and CIA to stir up the heat within society for the purpose of splitting up nations and creating trouble for China/HK. This is a ex-colonial newspaper with a lot of British imperialism mindsets, what do you expect?
The Uyghers were hired 1000 yrs ago from Turkey by China as mercenaries to help fight off the Tibetan warlord incursions into this west region of the Silk Route. They had then remained and intermarried with Xiong Nu from Mongolia, resulting in present caucasoid-mongolian admixture inhabitants. Leopards cannot change their spots I'm afraid. These isolated,disorientated, time- warped travellers obviously do not realise it is now the 21st and not 10th century AD. Time for a belated demob/repatriation to bosoms of countries of origin.
Agreed now tell the Chinese to get out of Africa and South Africa in particular and stop their grabbing imperialism - we are also **** off by the lawless, self-serving Chinese invasion of our economy, ecology and environmental rights in our country, as are the citizens of Xinjiang?
Tim Zone
China's government is too soft! China needs to learn from the US and Israel on how to deal with terrorists properly.
if this was really the uyghurs, why doesn't the world uyghur congress claim they did it? it's big success that they killed 31, a big victory and long live East Turkestan?
Likely another Zionist/US mischieve-stirring false flag event as had occurred in Ukraine, 9/11, Syria.....etc, etc. They certainly know how to strum the zombie terrorists of fascist/islamic persuation, and make them dance to their tunes. Ghastly,piteous, mindless puppets on a string. Karma means they can look forward to rebirth as pigs, what irony!
It’s not only in cyber space the U.S. has double standards, but also in the war on terror. Consider the terror bombing in Xinjiang that killed 31, all the media report use the word attack rather than terror bombing, and additionally they added the usual boiler plate excuse on the mistreatment of Uighurs. I wrote a letter to NYT explaining a different view and it was not published. Below is my letter:
Some have blame those terror attacks on Chinese oppression, yet they don’t blame 9/11 attacks on Ben Laden’s accusation of U.S. troops’ presence in Saudi Arabia. All those attacks are related as a pushback against modernity. Islam will not go away gently against the encroachment of modernity as most Christian religions did. Chinese government gives preferential treatments to her minorities in birth control, subsidized education opportunities and affirmative actions. Yet even as Chinese government avoids encroachment in religious matters, the idea of modernity, capitalism on profit motives, equality of sexes, and erosion of racial identity inevitably clash with a moribund religion. Unlike U.S , anyone with some knowledge with history knows what happened to Native Americans, China will not resort to extermination as a tool, but a forceful response and more fully integrated Xinjiang will be the result.




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