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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Militants from Xinjiang responsible for the deaths of 29 people

Militants from Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur Chinese minority are being blamed for the massacre of 29 people at a Chinese railway station. Authorities say the militants were waging a "Holy War" against the unarmed pedestrians.

Communist Party chief of Yunnan province Qin Guangrong, where Kunming is located, said the eight attackers had 'originally wanted to participate in jihad.'

Communist Party chief of Yunnan province Qin Guangrong, where Kunming is located, said the eight attackers had "originally wanted to participate in jihad."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Xinjiang, militants, China, Islamists, massacre, Uighurs


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chinese state media says that the militants carried out the "terrorist" attack last Saturday in the southwestern city of Kunming, killing at least 29 people and wounding about 140.

Four of the attackers were shot dead and police captured the other four.

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Blood-curdling photos that have been circulated online showed bodies, pools of blood and abandoned luggage scattered across the terminal floor.

Authorities say the massacre was an "organized, premeditated, violent terrorist attack."

Communist Party chief of Yunnan province Qin Guangrong, where Kunming is located, said the eight attackers had "originally wanted to participate in jihad.

"They could not leave from Yunnan, so they looked elsewhere, and went to Guangdong province, but also could not leave, so they returned to Yunnan," Qin told reporters.

Qin says the gang then went to Yunnan's Honghe County close to the Vietnam border, where they planned to carry out jihad either in Honghe or at railway or bus stations in Kunming if they were again unable to leave the country.

"Some people" who had been in contact with the eight were also in detention, though he gave no details.

Uighurs have sometimes turned up in Southeast Asia seeking asylum. In 2009, Cambodia deported a group of about 20 Uighurs to China. Cambodia, the recipient of increasingly large amounts of Chinese investment and trade, was sharply rebuked by human rights groups for deporting them.

Many Uighurs say they are unhappy at Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion. The Chinese government maintains that they are given widespread freedoms.

Beijing says it faces a real threat from militant Islamists in Xinjiang who want an independent state called East Turkestan. Many Uighurs have links with foreign groups, though rights groups and some foreign experts say there is little evidence to support this.

A hard lesson has been learned in the attack, Qin says.  The scene of the massacre took place hundreds of miles from Xinjiang in a subtropical province better known for its scenic beauty and largely harmonious relations with ethnic minorities.

"(Our) awareness of terrorism was not enough, and we could not have imagined before that terrorism could happen here."

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