News / Asia

Chinese Media Call for 'United Front Against Terror' Following Arrests

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.
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.
Chinese state media on Thursday blamed Muslim minority Uighurs for a "terrorist attack" in which a car was driven through a crowd of people at Tiananmen Square.

Beijing says the deadly Monday crash was a suicide mission planned by religious extremists from the troubled northwest region of Xinjiang, where Uighurs have long complained of government persecution.

Police say they believe 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.

While police did not specify the ethnicity of the attackers, the Communist Party-controlled Global Times said Thursday all those involved were Uighurs. The paper called for a "unified front against terrorism," and warned Uighurs will be the "biggest victims" of the attack.

Some fear the incident could be used to justify further restrictions on the Uighur community, and question key aspects of the government's investigation.

Dolkun Isa, the executive chairman of the World Uyghur Congress, tells VOA he finds it inconceivable a family would work together on such a barbaric attack.

"If this is really a suicide and terrorist activity, how is it possible that someone could do this together with their mother and wife? It's impossible," he said.

The Germany-based activist also wants to know how investigators were able to find such specific evidence of religious propaganda in a car that pictures showed was fully engulfed in flames.

"If the all the car is burning, how could they recognize in the car some material that belongs to religious extremists?" he asks.

The World Uyghur 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.

The group also says Beijing intentionally exaggerates this threat in order to further its repression of Uighurs. Dolkun Isa says this has already begun to happen in the wake of the Monday incident, with an increased security presence reported there.

China has defended its policies in Xinjiang, saying it is waging a campaign against separatists who are trying to form a separate nation called East Turkestan. It denies mistreating Uighurs, who it says are are guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms and are benefiting from urban development.

Clashes in Xinjiang are not uncommon 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.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehmet from: Usa
October 31, 2013 10:12 AM
This is ultimate cry of one nation by sacrificing their life for very basic rights as communist Chinese government did not leave them any space to live with their own identity
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 03, 2013 6:06 PM
Nonsense! you are singing songs for the terrorists. you don't see them killing innocent passengers on the street? What are the terrorists?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs