BEIJING — since Li’s husband took their daughter to purchase tickets Li Jinmei sat with her mother in the square outside Kunming railway station Saturday night. Following the Lunar New Year break, the family returned to some other city in southwest China, where his welding job does not pay much but cultivation their plot.
“Suddenly I found everyone was crying and running, so I followed them too,” said Li, 32. More than 10 people, some all bearing knives and concealed, dressed in black had begun slashing and stabbing anyone they could reach.
Close to the ticket hall, Li’s husband, hauled himself and Pan Huabing, saw an attacker launching a blow in his daughter. Cut badly on the throat, he clutched his daughter that was unharmed on the floor. As another assailant approached, Pan’s friend Zuo Ruxing, a fellow welder, grabbed the woman and his own son, also 6, and ran for their lives, he told The Beijing News.
At a nearby hotel, a desperate Li later found them. Authorities stopped the carnage by shooting dead four of the suspected Qaeda, including a girl, said state broadcaster CCTV Sunday. The one assailant taken alive, wounded by police fire, was female. Police were looking for five more.
At least 29 people were killed and wounded. according to Xinhua News Agency. The episode ranks as one of China’s worst and most acts of terror, based on city governments. Xinhua mentioned them saying signs shows the attack was by “Xinjiang separatist forces” who seek liberty for the huge region of Xinjiang in China’s northwest. It is Uighur.
Since Kunming residents struggled to come to terms with the bloodshed visited upon their usually tranquil city, a favorite holiday destination in China, several relatives waits for the wounded and missing.
“Thanks to Mr. Zuo, and my husband, my daughter could continue to keep her life,” a grateful Li Jinmei said by phone from her husband’s clinic, among 11 treating the injured.
However, after seven hours of operation, “doctors said he isn’t out of danger. He’s still in an ICU,” said Li, who worries about the psychological effect of the horror their daughter observed. “I’m a housewife. I have never heard of Uighurs before. I only know we don’t have any enmity against them, but how could they be so cruel?” She said. “I can’t comprehend why they would do this for my kid and my husband.”
Chinese government, issuing the identical judgment given to several recent assaults on police stations in Xinjiang, said Saturday’s episode was “a premeditated, organized, severe, violent terrorist attack” by Xinjiang separatists. Beijing blames external forces and religious extremists for fomenting trouble between the Uighur and the Han, China’s majority ethnic group, who have migrated to Xinjiang in recent decades.
Uighur activist groups accuse of causing unrest through repressive, discriminatory 14, Chinese authorities. The U.S. State Department said last week that there was “severe official repression of their liberty of speech, religion, association and assembly of ethnic Uighurs” at Xinjiang at 2013.
Adding to calls for speedy action from China’s Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, the domestic security chief Meng Jianzhu, who had rushed to Kunming, stated “the terrorists were devoid of conscience, viciously attacked unarmed civilians, exposed their anti-humanity and anti-society nature, and they ought to be harshly penalized in line with the legislation,” Xinhua reported.
A commentary carried by Xinhua on Sunday titled “Nothing warrants civilian slaughter from China’s “9-11′” contended that China’s recent decision to set a national security committee chaired by Xi is “very timely and necessary” After Saturday, “a nationwide outrage was stirred. Justice needs to be done and terrorists should be punished,” the commentary said.
Most previous incidents of Xinjiang-related violence have been limited to Xinjiang. Saturday’s attack in Yunnan province, more than 1,000 miles to the southeast, follows the following in Beijing last October, when a Uighur family of three drove a car to Tiananmen Gate and detonated it, killing themselves and two pedestrians and injuring 40 individuals.
This second episode “will be quite worrying for Beijing, as it shows the spread of the sphere of activity to the Chinese heartland, and a few steps together in developing their approach with a separatist or terrorist organization,” said Michael Clarke, a specialist on Xinjiang and terrorism at Australia’s Griffith University.
Although Beijing insists that Xinjiang terror strikes are inspired from abroad, Saturday’s assault, like many in recent years, still shows “a low level of sophistication, being armed with knives, not the sophisticated, well-armed terror assault of this al-Qaeda variety,” Clarke said.
Chinese state policy “is partly accountable for what we’re seeing,” he stated, due to Uighur anger in crackdowns on Islamic practice, along with other ways of controlling Uighur culture, and also the understanding that Xinjiang has been colonized by Han immigrants.
“Intense discrimination and repressive policies cause Uighur people being injured in their hearts, and may excite the victims to adopt these types of extreme measures,” Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman at Sweden for the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, said in a written statement. He explained there was no justification for attacks on people.
Contributing: Sunny Yang