• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01pm

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

HK government will not issue any negative alert because it's China. Double standard and hypocrisy of our bureaucrats and officials. Much easier to bully poor countries like Philippines. Hehe ... HK's travel alerts is a political tool not a useful guide
These terrorist events/attacks are happening in China with alarming regularity. I trust the Security Bureau of Hong Kong will do the right thing and issue an appropriate travel warning in due course.
M Miyagi
The US is a terrorist state and gives comfort and refuge to Uygur terrorists in order to destabilise China. Therefore because of this double standard, when "terrorist" events happen in the US like 911 nobody should have any sympathy. And as far as the Uygur terrorists are concerned, KILL THEM ALL.
Crimean separatists are called terrorists, while the killers who murdered 31 and maimed scores of ordinary, innocent people without a chance to defend themselves in the Urumqi market are called separatists. The CIA is now trying to change the dictionary.
Some in the SCMP are receiving double checks every month indeed!
SCMP - Come on!! 31 dead and you still say Terrorist with quotation marks??
Just quit it. Not funny anymore...
SCMP is so biased nowadays, even in the news title. What are you suggesting by putting the quotation marks around terrorist? They used car bombs to kill innocent Chinese people; they claims on the web to kill all Chinese because we eat pork, and you only call them assailants rather than terrorsists? I bet with 50 US cents you would not call them assailants if the same thing happen in the US, and you dont dare to write something like 911 a "terrorist" attack. Shame.
Get real!
All is not well in the occupied lands.
meaningless comment by Tiger J - keep stirring that troll pot
Formerly ******
Mr. or Ms. M. Miyagi:
Are you paranoid? Has the US killed all muslims in payback for 9/11? One thing is for certain, your last sentence certainly shows that you've the typical bloodthirsty, hateful communist totalitarian (well, that was a bit redundant). You must be a follower of the murderous philosophies of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.
In fact, Mao and Stalin did have a philosophy of 'reign of terror' in order to cower the population. In other words, their murderous deeds were a political philosophy, indigenous to all socialist and communists systems of government.
先生或女士 M.宮城縣:
您是偏執狂嗎?美國為 9/11 殺所有穆斯林的回報了嗎?一件事是肯定的是,你最後一句當然顯示你已經典型嗜血成性、 可恨共產主義極權 (那是有點多餘)。您必須是一個殺人不眨眼的列寧、 史達林、 希特勒、 毛澤東、 波爾布特等理念的跟隨者。
事實上,毛澤東和史達林沒有一種 '的恐怖統治' 的哲學,退縮,人口。換句話說,他們殺人不眨眼的行為是一種政治哲學,土著到政府所有社會主義和共產主義制度。



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