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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More