News / Asia

China Arrests 5 for Tiananmen 'Terror Attack'

  • A man installs a security camera  at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Nov. 1, 2013, very close to the site of a fatal vehicle crash in which five people died.
  • Soldiers and a policeman stand guard at Xinhuamen Gate, the main entrance of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound, the residence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, located in the center of Beijing, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • A paramilitary soldier patrols near visitors posing for souvenir pictures at Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, Nov. 1, 2013.
  • A man installs a security camera at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2013.
  • Vehicles travel along Chang'an Avenue as smoke raises in front of a portrait of late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • Crowds react to a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013. (Image taken from weibo)
  • Wounded people are seen after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013. (Image taken from weibo)
  • Security it seen after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013. (Image taken from weibo)
  • Chinese paramilitary police and uniformed police seal off pavement leading to Tiananmen Gate, following a car fire in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • Police officers set up barriers in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as they clean up after a car accident at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
  • A police officer walks in front of the giant portrait of the late Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong as other police clean up after a car crash at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Oct. 28, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
William Ide
— Chinese authorities say terrorists were responsible for carrying out an attack Monday in China’s Tiananmen Square that left five dead and injured 40.

Chinese authorities say the three people in the car were from the same family.  Based on their names, it appeared Usmen Hassan, his wife and mother were members of China’s ethnic Uighur minority group from Xinjiang.

Uighurs

  • Ethnically Turkic Muslims
  • Make up about 45% of Xinjiang's population
  • The area was briefly independent in the 1940s before China re-established control in 1949
  • Many resent Chinese government controls and increased Han population in Xinjiang
  • Fear an erosion of their culture and language
  • Uighur-Han clashes erupted in 2009 in Xinjiang
Authorities say five suspects who were being sought in connection with the incident have been detained. Based on their names, they appeared to be from China’s remote Xinjiang region.

Officials say Beijing and Xinjiang police worked together in carrying out the arrest of all five. Authorities add the attack was highly organized and pre-meditated.

Although largely silent about the incident since Monday, Chinese state media were quick to release information Wednesday and condemn those who were said to be behind the attack.

The broadcaster quotes a spokesman for the Beijing Public Security Bureau as saying that the three suspects set the Jeep on fire after it crashed through a barricade and into the Jinshui Bridge near the entrance to the Forbidden City. The three died at the scene.

Police say they found gasoline, two knives, steel sticks and a flag with extremist religious content inside the Jeep.

China frequently blames Uighurs from Xinjiang for carrying out terrorist attacks, but exile groups argue the evidence released in many instances is frequently slim and has been exaggerated. They say this allows authorities to continue to carry out policies that members of the mostly Muslim minority group consider to overly restrict their cultural and religious activities.

It was not clear whether other suspects were still being sought in connection with Monday’s incident.  Earlier, authorities were reaching out to hotels in Beijing in search of eight suspects from Xinjiang.

Hotel workers in the Chinese capital say they have been briefed on a list of eight names and license numbers.

Most of the names and numbers on the list were of individuals from China’s restive northwestern region of Xinjiang. However, hotel workers say one of the names appeared to be of an ethnic Chinese.

The hotel worker says that while other journalists have been asking to see the list, the manager says the document is only for those who work at the hotel and that he can not show it.

“Several have asked about the list, but I can’t show you the document because our manager says it’s just for those who work here.”

He says the hotel will not let individuals from Xinjiang stay there and has not had any guests from Xinjiang over the past two days.

Even with the new details about the case, it is still unclear how the car was able to make its way through layers of security, crash and catch fire in front of the Forbidden City. Some security experts have argued that the case raises questions about the effectiveness of China’s massive security apparatus.

An editorial in China’s Global Times newspaper Wednesday praised the government’s response and efforts to notify both hotels and entertainment venues about the suspects. It also argued that the incident highlighted China’s resilience to such incidents.

China spends more on internal security and keeping its public in check than it does on its military.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kamikaze from: Japan
October 30, 2013 11:04 PM
Sorry for the killed people. However, I think this kind of incident will more frequently occur in China, because Chinese goverment is opressing othe small countries. Chinese government must pay its full attention to its domestic matters such as air pollution (its nationals are suffering from PM 2.5), food poisoning, officials' corruptions, almost blasting bubble economy, and more and more evil matters.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid