CRIME

Third knifeman still at large after Guangzhou railway attack that left 13 injured

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 March, 2015, 10:25am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 March, 2015, 10:41am

Guangzhou police shot dead a knife attacker and arrested another at the busiest train station in the mainland's south yesterday morning, with witnesses saying that a third is still at large.

Thirteen people were injured, four critically, in the 8am attack at Guangzhou Railway Station. Among the victims was an auxiliary police officer.

At least three witnesses told the South China Morning Post that the knife-wielding assailants appeared to be ethnic Uygurs.

One man held two 30cm-long knives while two held a weapon each, a witness said. They attacked people exiting the railway square from two directions.

A bus driver, 49, said he was attacked by one of them but managed to fend him off.

"He rushed at me and I grabbed some luggage to fend him off. It was really frightening," he said. "I saw one being chased down by police. He was shot three times in his leg and hips."

Another witness, who was picking up a friend at the station, was also attacked.

"They tried to hack me and I fended him off with my bag. Then he turned on my friend, but did not succeed," the 50-year-old Guangxi native said.

"A very pretty girl in her 20s had her mouth slashed wide open. She was lying on the ground unconscious. I don't think she's going to make it."

The witnesses said they were shocked by the violence.

"I saw three people on the ground. A woman was chopped on her neck, a girl was chopped on her arm, and an older man was chopped on the back of his head," a 35-year-old migrant worker from Fujian said.

A Wenzhou businessman said he saw one attacker, clad in a black shirt and trousers, fleeing from the police. "Police officers were chasing him. He looked like a Uygur," he said.

A 19-year-old university student said she would not go alone to the station again after two chopping incidents. This is the second attack at the station after six people were hurt in May.

Police reopened the railway square at about 11am. The area had been cleaned up within three hours of the incident.

Guangdong police said last night that they would step up security measures and firmly crack down on all violent crimes.

The attack comes at a politically sensitive time on the mainland during the annual parliamentary sessions in Beijing.

Last March, 29 people were killed by knife-wielding assailants at a railway station in Kunming , Yunnan . The authorities blamed the attack on Muslim Uygur separatists.