China to crackdown on 'arrogance of terrorists'

2014-05-22 11:43
(File)

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now
Beijing - China has called the attack in the regional capital of Urumqi a "serious violent terrorist incident" and vowed to strengthen a crackdown on the "arrogance of terrorists" after ninety-four people were wounded.

Explosives were hurled from two vehicles which ploughed into an open market in China's troubled Xinjiang and killed 31 people, the deadliest act of violence in the region in years.

China has blamed a series of knife and bomb attacks in recent months on separatist militants from Xinjiang, the traditional home of the ethnic Muslim Uighurs.

The cross-country vehicles rammed into shoppers in an open market, Xinhua news agency reported, citing witness reports. Explosives were flung out of the windows, and one of the vehicles exploded.

One witness told Reuters he saw the aftermath of the blasts on his way to work. "The air was full of the smell of gunpowder and the sound of sobbing," he said. "There were simply too many [casualties], old folks who were at the morning market."

A business owner told Xinhua he had heard a dozen loud explosions at the market near Renmin Park in downtown Urumqi.

Repressive policies

Xinjiang has been plagued by violence for years, but rights activists and exile groups say the government's own heavy handed policies in the region have sowed the seeds of unrest.

Photos posted on social media purportedly of the blast, but not verified by Reuters, showed a column of smoke and chaos at the market, with bloodied people lying on the tree-lined road near small stands selling fruit, vegetables and eggs.

"There were two vehicles that drove like crazy towards the morning market," another witness who declined to give his name told Reuters by telephone. "The market was total chaos. Hawkers and shoppers started running everywhere... it was definitely a terrorist act. I'm so angry."

Other photos showed riot police on the scene and bodies lying amid flames. Produce and debris were scattered across the street.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesperson for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, said in an e-mail to Reuters that while he wasn't sure who committed the attack, he believed Beijing's policies in the region should be examined.

"The volatility of the situation and Beijing's repressive policies in the area have a direct relationship to this," Rexit said. "I urge Beijing not to use this incident as an excuse to expand repressive policies, and instead to adjust policies to ameliorate a deteriorating situation."

'Terrorists swollen with arrogance'

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said the attack "should be condemned jointly by the Chinese people and the international community".

"The Chinese government has the confidence and the ability to combat the terrorists," Hong said at a daily news briefing. "These terrorists are swollen with arrogance. Their schemes will not succeed."

In a posting on its Chinese-language microblog account, the US Embassy said it offered condolences to victims of the "violent attack", but stopped short of labelling it terrorism.

The Xinjiang government could not be immediately reached for comment.

President Xi Jinping said police would "step up patrols and security controls over possible terrorist targets and prevent ripple effects", Xinhua reported. Xi vowed to "severely punish terrorists".

The attack was the deadliest in a recent series targeting crowded public places in China. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the south-western city of Kunming.

A bomb and knife attack earlier this month at an Urumqi train station killed one bystander and wounded 79. A car burst into flames at the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October, killing five people, in what Beijing said was a terrorist attack.

China has said Islamist militants from Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Separatist groups in Xinjiang are seeking to form their own state called East Turkestan.

Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, is home to the Uighur people, a mostly Muslim ethnic group who speak a Turkic language and are culturally distinct from China's ethnic Han majority.

Violent riots shook the region in 2009, when hundreds of locals took to the streets in Urumqi, burning and smashing vehicles. Dozens were killed in the unrest.

But exiles and rights groups say China's repressive policies that have targeted religious freedoms and economic opportunities for Uighurs are the culprits when it comes to unrest.

In recent weeks, China has strengthened a crackdown on Uighurs in the region, jailing dozens for spreading extremist propaganda and manufacturing arms, among other charges.

Christopher Johnson, a former China analyst at the CIA, said China's leadership may come to the realisation that a policy of constantly tightening controls on Xinjiang may not be effective in preventing attacks.

"I'm kind of doubtful that they are going to announce some sort of more liberal policy," said Johnson, who now works at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"But sooner or later I think they are going to have to come to that reality because the evidence is just smacking them in the face."
Read more on:    xi jinping  |  china
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Air France grounds flights

2014-08-01 22:52
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Kuils River 17:58 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Montague Gardens 12:06 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.