China Points to Suicide Blast in Urumqi Attack

World Today

Explosion at Xinjiang railway station railway station Explosion at Xinjiang railway station. PHOTO/ Southern China Morning Post

Chinese authorities said Thursday that two religious extremists carried out a terror attack at a train station in far-western Xinjiang region by detonating explosives, in an apparent suicide bombing that also killed one other person and wounded 79.  An investigation is under way.

The strike late Wednesday in Urumqi was the third high-profile attack in seven months blamed on Xinjiang extremists that targeted civilians. These attacks, two of them outside the region, have marked a departure from a previous pattern of primarily targeting local authorities in a long-simmering insurgency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping demanded “decisive” action against terrorism after the attack, which came at awkward time for him, just as he was wrapping up a four-day tour of Xinjiang aimed at underlining the government’s commitment to security in the region. It was unclear if he was still in Xinjiang when the explosions took place.

“The battle to combat violence and terrorism will not allow even a moment of slackness,” Xi said in comments published on the front page of official newspapers Thursday and carried by state television.

China Xinjiang Blast

Security personnel gather near the scene of an explosion outside the Urumqi South Railway Station in Urumqi in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday April 30, 2014. An explosion shook the railway station in China’s restive far-western region of Xinjiang, injuring many people as President Xi Jinping wrapped up a four-day visit to the area, Xinhua news agency said Wednesday. (AP Photo)

 
URUMQI MAP

Xinjiang has experienced several violent clashes over the past months.

China’s President Xi Jinping visited the region this week, and has promised to step up anti-terrorism efforts.

Report compiled with information from Xinhua and The Associated Press.