News / Asia

China Blames Muslim Separatists for Tiananmen 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.

Car Fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square

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VOA News
China's domestic security chief has blamed a Muslim Uighur separatist group for planning a "violent terrorist incident" this week on Beijing's Tiananmen Square that killed five people and injured dozens of others.

Meng Jianzhu, a member of the 25-member Politburo with responsibility for domestic security, said Friday that the incident had been organized by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.  The group is based in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The United States and the United Nations both classified ETIM as a terrorist organisation in 2002, although the U.S. later removed the group from its list.  

Beijing says the deadly Monday car crash in Tiananmen Square was a suicide mission planned by religious extremists. Police say a Uighur man named Usmen Hasan crashed a vehicle carrying his mother and wife into a crowd of people in the square, before lighting the car on fire. All three died at the scene, as did two tourists. Dozens were wounded.

Officials say they found gasoline, knives, steel sticks and a flag with extremist religious content inside the burnt-out vehicle. They also arrested five people from Xinjiang, who were said to be planning attacks with Hasan.

The World Uighur Congress does not deny Uighur individuals sometimes engage in violence, out of what it calls "desperation". But, contrary to Beijing's claims, it says there is no organized resistance against Chinese rule.

Clashes in Xinjiang are common between Uighurs and the Han Chinese majority or members of the government security forces. Beijing says over 200 people have been killed in such attacks in recent years. But this is the first time Chinese authorities have blamed Uighurs for a major incident in Beijing.

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by: H. Schneider from: B.R.Deutschland
November 02, 2013 11:29 PM
China is to blame, because PRC government is bullying its small neigbouring countries such as Tibet, Inner mongolia, Uighur, and others. China is the coutry of evil. China is destructing the world peace.


by: Anonymous
November 01, 2013 5:08 PM
They found a flag in a burnt-out car. A fire resistant flag ?
CSI Beijing must be much smarter than CSI Miami, Florida.

In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
November 02, 2013 11:41 AM
What if the flag was found in the not fully burned trunk? Ignorant!
Can I wonder that 911 was also a cry of desperation?


by: li weijian from: Evanston usa
November 01, 2013 12:08 PM
This tragedy in Beijing was caused definitely by religious extremists from Xinjiang. Its nature is same to the Boston Marathon Bombings on April 15, 2013. The people of both China and USA, and even lots of other countries in the world, are threatened by the same menace. All the vitims should united together to fight with this evil attackers without qurreling among ourselves.


by: Anonymous
November 01, 2013 5:18 AM
I realy wonder what would VOA say if this was happened in the USA. You woud critisize it as a torrorist attack. But as it is acturally happened in China, this is ethnic problem then. How rediculous!
I must say that the guys who committed this attack desreve a severe panelty by the law, because this is crutial and inhuman.

In Response

by: Dr. Marilean from: USA
November 01, 2013 9:21 AM
hey, welcome to the world of Islamic terrorism... when it was happening in the Middle East, China ignored it... China even pretended to be of a superior morality... China has hundreds of millions of muslims who are in the process of radicalization by Iran and Saudi Arabia... now sit back and watch how China implode...


by: oldlamb from: Guanzhou
November 01, 2013 3:14 AM
How stupid terro attack this was!Two people were killed,but three terrorists were killed in the same time.and led to 5 members of the terror group were arrested.Rubbish.

In Response

by: shedingtie from: Beijing
November 01, 2013 9:41 AM
This is a terrorist attack like 911 in America,dozens of people had been dead if they didn't crash into the stone pillar,Wake Up,my dear friend

In Response

by: she boning from: hunan
November 01, 2013 8:35 AM
This is a terrorist attack like 911 in america,i want to say the terrorists is not good luck,they just want to kill more people,but Unlucky they crash into a stone pillar,if not so,maybe dozens of people have been dead.

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