News / Asia

China's Xinjiang Region Hit by More Attacks

In this Friday, July 10, 2009 file photo, Muslim worshipers come out of a mosque after noon prayers in Kashgar in China's restive Xinjiang province, where new violence erupted on Sunday, July 31, 2011.
In this Friday, July 10, 2009 file photo, Muslim worshipers come out of a mosque after noon prayers in Kashgar in China's restive Xinjiang province, where new violence erupted on Sunday, July 31, 2011.

Chinese authorities say two attacks in the country's remote region of Xinjiang have left at least 19 people dead, including five attackers, and injured more than 40 others.

Chinese officials say the two incidents, which occurred late Saturday evening and then again on Sunday afternoon in the city of Kashgar, were both terrorist attacks. Authorities also said that at least one of the leaders of Sunday’s attack received terrorist training in Pakistan.

Bomb blasts

Chinese state media say the spree of violence in Xinjiang began when two bombs shook the streets of Kashgar. Authorities say an hour after the blasts on a nearby street, two attackers hijacked a truck, killed its driver, and then drove it into a crowd of pedestrians. Chinese media reported the attackers then got out of the truck and began stabbing people who were passing by.

The Kashgar city government says eight bystanders were killed in the violence, one attacker was killed and another was apprehended.

On Sunday afternoon, authorities said a bigger group of men carried out the second attack, stabbing the owner of a restaurant and a waiter and then setting it on fire. The attackers then ran out of the restaurant and began stabbing bystanders randomly, killing four and wounding 15 others. Chinese media reported four of the attackers were shot dead after leaving the restaurant and another died later at the hospital.

Uighurs accused

The Kashgar city government issued an arrest warrant for two of the attackers, who escaped, and offered a reward of more than $15,000 for any information that leads to their capture. Both are members of Xinjiang's Uighur minority group.

The city government identified the two as 29-year old Memtieli Tiliwaldi and 34-year old Turson Hasan.

The Kashgar city government says that based on a confession from one of the alleged attackers, at least one of the group's leaders who participated in Sunday's attack received firearms and explosives training in Pakistan and then later returned to Xinjiang.

The statement says the leader received training from a Pakistan-based camp of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a banned organization that seeks independence for Xinjiang. A spokesman with the Kashgar city government could not be reached for comment.

Ethnic tensions

Xinjiang is home to millions of Muslim Uighurs, who are angry about what they say has been decades of repressive rule by Beijing and the unwanted immigration of China's dominant Han ethnic group.

Dilxat Raxit, the spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, questioned China's account of the events and says the lack of legitimate means to voice grievances in the region may drive some to violence.

There there is no way for Uighurs to protest through peaceful means, he said, and that Beijing has to acknowledge its responsibility in what has happened in the area. From what he has heard, people in Kashgar have been forbidden from leaving their homes and authorities have detained more than 100 people, Raxit said.

Growing unrest

The two attacks wrap up what has been a violent month for Xinjiang.

Less than two weeks before the attacks in Kashgar, a group of 14 men allegedly stormed a police station. According to government accounts of the incident, 18 people were killed after the men took hostages. Fourteen of those who died were the attackers. Four remain in custody and authorities have released no additional information - such as their names or what might have possibly brought on the attack.

During that attack Chinese terrorism analysts suggested that links to terrorist groups in Pakistan could have been a factor. World Uighur Congress spokesman Raxit says that the Chinese government always tries to link such incidents to terrorism.

The Chinese government uses repressive measures against demonstrations, he said, and tries to avoid responsibility by linking every act of protest to terrorist organizations.

China denies the claims of the World Uighur Congress and in turn has accused the group of masterminding a riot in Urumqi in 2009, that left nearly 200 people dead.

Most of the casualties were members of China's Han ethnic group.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid