• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:22am
NewsChina
TERRORISM

37 civilians and 59 'terrorists' died in Xinjiang attack, China says

As death toll from attack in Kashgar is put at nearly 100, authorities say that a homegrown organisation is colluding with a foreign body

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 August, 2014, 8:48am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 August, 2014, 7:39am
 

Xinjiang authorities revealed that nearly 100 people were killed in last week's terrorist attack in a Kashgar county, as state media tacitly acknowledged the existence of an operational domestic terrorist organisation.

The shift in language, which experts told the South China Morning Post was significant, came after violence on a major road and at government facilities in remote Yarkant county, also known as Shache, last Monday.

Professor Yang Shu, an expert on Central Asia at Lanzhou University, said the attack was the largest since the July 2009 riots in Urumqi, which left 197 dead and more than 1,700 injured.

According to a meeting chaired by Xinjiang's party chief Zhang Chunxian on Saturday, police shot dead 59 assailants and detained 215 suspects. Police also seized jihadist flags, knives and axes.

Altogether 37 civilians, 35 ethnic Han and two Uygur, were killed and 13 injured during the violence. More than 30 vehicles were smashed or burnt.

The scale of the violence may explain the delay in releasing the details. Monday's attack was soon followed by the assassination of a pro-Beijing imam at Kashgar city's Id Kah Mosque on Wednesday.

While saying Monday's attack was premeditated by a gang "masterminded" by someone called Nuramat Sawut in the township of Elixku, Xinhua also said "domestic and foreign terrorist organisations had colluded" to plot the attack - a deviation from its usual wording.

In the bomb attack at Urumqi's southern railway station in late April, which claimed three lives and injured 79 people, Xinhua described the assailants as "violent and terrorist gangs".

The same was true with the Urumqi market attack the following month that left 31 dead and 94 injured.

Xinhua did not make clear whether Nuramat Sawut's "gang" was part of the "domestic terrorist organisation".

Li Wei, a Beijing-based anti-terrorism expert, believed there was as yet no "mature" terrorist organisation in China. "Most cases are carried out by violent groups, not terrorist organisations in the traditional sense." But he said there might be a terrorist organisation behind the group given the scale of the violence.

Pan Zhiping, a researcher at Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences' Central Asia Institute, said it was likely to be supported by a domestic terrorist organisation. "It's just that authorities have not found it. That's why they kept using moderate words like 'violent groups'," he said.

In June, a vice-president of China's top police academy, Li Jianhe, said China did not yet have a mature terrorist organisation, but such a day could come.

Xinhua said Nuramat Sawut colluded with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and started recruiting in 2013. He prepared the attack during Ramadan.

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This article is now closed to comments

req
It doesn't matter who resided there before, all that matters is who walked in and colonized the place. See Australia, North America for examples. I mean, most of Europe was effectively colonized and civilized by those Italians...
FuchenLee
i just find an interesting phenomenon as i both read such news in chinese and english on SCMP:
in chinese edition: 'terrorists' are 暴徒mobs(without a quotes), and there are a lot of report base on how people in Xinjiang fought for safe, fighting with the mobs, but there have no such report in english edition... wow!
i suggest SCMP should send several reporter to West Xinjiang, then you wirte a news like this one above after they will have been killed by 'terrorists'.
nicolas
they're not terrorist...instead, they're simply freedom fighter to protect their rights and races
FuchenLee
wowowow....5$ get
williechow
What does the headline has the word terrorists in quotes?
oregon222
They're only terrorists if the attack is on white folks
ackw
Agree. Could SCMP please explain? What is the undertone intended for the "news"? I would presume that SCMP will hold to a proper neutrality for its new reporting
andreaswagner
Because they are not terrorists but resistance fighters.
zhaopeiyu@hotmail.com
Resistance fighters that deliberately target civilians for brutal murder based on their race? Stop whitewashing their crimes - they are terrorists pure and simple.
Kevin Chen
Wrong. The Uyghur are vermin that invaded Xinjiang.
caractacus
If your nasty racism is representative of the attitudes of Han Chinese no wonder the Uyghur hate you.
And, by the way, they and other Central Asian peoples occupied Xinjiang long before the Chinese arrived.
shouken
Wow! 59! It does seem that Beijing's tacit position regarding "terrorism" has moved in line with what the United States is doing in extremism-rife areas such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Middle East: going in for the kill, not arrests and trials (remember bin Laden and the drone attacks).
-
Many readers think this is an ethnic conflict and assimilation problem, and China's insensitivity to human rights. But I have come to see it more as a millennium-old social structural problem with an ethnic/religious facade, which gave rise to grassroots movements like the Bailian Cult (白莲教)uprising and the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace (太平天国) that had much to do with entrenching social inequality and massive poverty. Things like that could happen in most economically underpriviledged regions, regardless of them being Han-dominant or Uyghur-dominant. This is why the security situation in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, both muslim countries, is totally different. And we must decide whether to side with Hong Xiuqiong (洪秀全) or Zen Guofan (曾国藩). The answer is not always obvious.
zhaopeiyu@hotmail.com
You are completely wrong in your comparison of these Uyghur terrorists with the Taiping Rebellion. For one the Taiping rebels sought to and successfully attracted hundreds of millions of ordinary Chinese into their ranks. These Uyghur extremists don't even have the support of the majority of their fellow Uyghurs. The Taiping rebels also did not target whole ethnic groups for slaughter like these Uyghur extremists are doing - instead they welcomed anyone who was willing to join their (misguided) cause regardless of their creed or ethnicity.
Your assumption that Uyghur terrorism stems from "massive poverty" is also wrong. There are far poorer areas of China inhabited by ethnic minority groups which never see anything even remotely similar to the large-scale, racially-motivated attacks on civilians that is happening in Xinjiang. Uyghur terrorism is unique in modern China and any attempts to draw parallels with the Taiping Rebellion are a waste of time.
chaz_hen
If you can't assimilate 'em, kill 'em all...
cliver
Why do you publish such offensive comments?
LSH TONG
because the truth hurts.
LSH TONG
Because the truth hurts?
giggsy72
And still no travel warning issued by the Hong Kong administration. This is criminally negligent of them. Australia, Canada and the UK advise a high degree of caution. Why does Hong Kong not feel it's necessary to warn people about travelling to these dangerous, terrorism affected areas???
andreaswagner
Some people need advice, the luckier ones were born with a brain.
giggsy72
Being born with a brain has absolutely zero effect on the validity of your insurance. HK authorities are quick to jump on everyone's bandwagon, posting travel alerts and linking to foreign government websites, in support of such warnings. For a very long time any HK resident travelling to the Pines was doing so uninsured. Clearly that was petulance by the HK administration, more a political move, rather than concern for HK citizens. This is equally political in it's refusal to acknowledge and advise of, the danger that travelling to these areas may pose.
5361d118-5a10-4c1b-ad4e-34f90a320969
Do you really need official advice on where and where not to travel ? Tip for you, keep your eyes open, read the media then make your own decision.
chaz_hen
Nonthaburial: You're kind of thick, aren't you?
 
 
 
 
 

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