Five suicide bombers carried out an attack which killed 31 people in the capital of China’s troubled Xinjiang Autonomous Region, state media reported a day after the deadliest terrorist attack to date in the region.
The incident, which occurred in Urumqi on Thursday morning, was the second suicide attack in the capital in just over three weeks. A bomb and knife attack at an Urumqi train station in late April killed one bystander and wounded 79.
The government recently launched a campaign to strike hard against terrorism in Xinjiang, blaming Islamists and separatists for the worsening violence in the resource-rich western region bordering central Asia. At least 180 people have been killed in attacks across China over the past year.
The attackers ploughed two vehicles into an open market in Urumqi and hurled explosives. Many of the 94 people wounded were elderly shoppers, according to witnesses. “Five suspects who participated in the violent terrorist attack blew themselves up,” the Global Times, a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. The newspaper said authorities “are investigating whether there were other accomplices”. No group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack.
Aftermath of attack
Terror Attack in Xinjiang Autonomous RegionFive suicide bombers carried out the attack which killed 31 people in the capital of China's troubled Xinjiang Autonomous Region, state media reported a day after the deadliest terrorist attack to date in the region.
In response to the attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to severely punish the terrorists and spare no effort in maintaining stability. He ordered police to step up patrols. And to strike hard against violence and terrorists to safeguard social stability. Xi also asked local authorities to offer his condolences to the families of the victims.
Premier Li Keqiang, meanwhile, called on authorities everywhere to step up safety measures and eliminate weak points in public security. A task force led by Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun has gone to Xinjiang to assist in the investigation. After inspecting rescue work at the attack scene, Guo also visited a local hospital where he met with victims as well as doctors and nurses. He asked the victims to be strong while assuring them those responsible for the attack will be punished. He also expressed his gratitude to the work force at the hospital.
The regional government has launched an emergency response to treat the injured.
Report compiled with information from Reuters.