BEIJING — since Li’s husband took their daughter to purchase train tickets, Li Jinmei sat with her mother in the outside Kunming railway station Saturday night. Still although after the Lunar New Year break, the family returned to another town in southwest China cultivation their little plot.
Then terror descended.
“Suddenly I found everybody was running and screaming, so I followed them too,” said Li, 32. Some masked and dressed in black, more than 10 men and women bearing knives, had started slashing and stabbing anyone they could reach.
Close to the ticket hall, Li’s husband, Pan Huabing, saw an attacker launch a blow at his daughter and threw himself in its route. Cut on the throat, he clutched his unharmed daughter . As another assailant approached, Pan’s friend Zuo Ruxing, a fellow welder, grabbed the girl and his own son, also 6, and ran for their lives, ” he told The Beijing News.
In a nearby hotel, they were later found by a desperate Li. The carnage was stopped by police by shooting four of the suspected attackers deadsaid state broadcaster CCTV Sunday. The 1 assailant taken alive, wounded by police fire, was feminine. Police searched for at least five.
At least 29 people were killed and 143 hurt. according to Xinhua News Agency. The episode ranks as one of China’s worst and most acts of terror, based on city governments. Xinhua cited them saying signs indicates the attack was “Xinjiang separatist forces” who seek liberty for the vast region of Xinjiang in China’s northwest. It is home to 10 million Uighur, a largely Muslim men and women.
Since Kunming residents fought to come to terms with the bloodshed seen upon their tranquil city, a favorite holiday destination in China, many 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 telephone from her husband’s hospital, among 11 treating the injured.
But after seven hours of surgery, “doctors said he is not out of danger. He is still in an ICU,” said Li, who worries about the mental impact of the horror their daughter witnessed. “I am a housewife. I have never heard of Uighurs. I only know we have no enmity from them, but how could they be so cruel?” She said. “I can not understand why they would do that to my kid and my husband.”
Chinese government, devoting the same judgment given to many recent assaults on police stations in Xinjiang, said Saturday’s episode was “a premeditated, organized, serious, violent terrorist assault” from Xinjiang separatists. For fomenting trouble between the Uighur and the Han, China’s majority ethnic group, who have migrated in recent decades to Xinjiang, Beijing blames external forces and religious extremists.
Uighur activist groups accuse of causing unrest through repressive 14, Chinese authorities. The U.S. State Department said last week there was “acute official repression of the freedoms of speech, religion, association and assembly of ethnic Uighurs” at Xinjiang in 2013.
Adding to calls for speedy action from China’s Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, the domestic security leader Meng Jianzhu, who’d hurried to Kunming, said “the terrorists were devoid of conscience, viciously attacked unarmed civilians, exposed their anti-humanity and anti-society nature, and they should be harshly penalized in line with the legislation,” Xinhua reported.
A commentary carried by Xinhua on Sunday titled “Nothing justifies civilian slaughter from China’s “9-11′” argued that China’s recent decision to set a national security committee chaired by Xi is “very timely and necessary.” Following Saturday, “a nationally outrage has been stirred. Justice needs to be done and terrorists must be punished,” the commentary said.
Previous episodes of Xinjiang-related violence have been limited to Xinjiang. Saturday’s assault in Yunnan province, over 1,000 miles to the southeast, follows the following in Beijing last October, when a car was driven by a Uighur household of three and detonated it, killing two pedestrians and themselves and injuring 40 individuals.
This second incident “will be stressing for Beijing, as it reveals the spread of this world of action to the Chinese heartland, and a few steps along in developing their approach with a separatist or terrorist organization,” said Michael Clarke, an expert on Xinjiang and terrorism at Australia’s Griffith University.
Though Beijing insists that Xinjiang terror strikes are motivated from abroad, Saturday’s assault, such as many in recent years, still shows “a low degree of elegance, being armed with knives, not the sophisticated, well-armed terror attack of this al-Qaeda variety,” Clarke explained.
Chinese state policy “is partly responsible for what we are seeing,” he said, because of Uighur anger at crackdowns on Islamic practice, and other ways of controlling Uighur culture, and the perception that Xinjiang is being chased by Han immigrants.
“Severe offenses and repressive policies direct to Uighur people being injured in their hearts, and might provoke the sufferers to adopt these types of extreme measures,” Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman in Sweden for the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, stated in a written announcement. He said there was no justification for attacks on people.
Contributing: Sunny Yang
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