This Saturday a deadly stabbing took place at a train station in Xinjiang, China. Chinese officials are referring to the stabbing, which killed 28 and injured 113, as an act of terrorism.
The attack took place on Saturday afternoon at the Kunming train station in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Witnesses at the station report seeing at least 10 assailants descend upon a crowd at the train station wielding very large and long knives. The attackers, who were all dressed in black, ran through the crowd slashing victims and cutting down those who could not escape their path. Those at the scene of the attack stated that mass chaos ensued as the assailants stabbed and sliced victims, while others fortunate enough to survive unharmed ran to safety.
Police officers who quickly arrived at the scene shot and killed five of the attackers in attempts to end the attack and capture the assailants. Due to this attack 28 people died and 113 were severely injured. Most of the victims were rushed to the Kunming No.1 People’s Hospital to receive medical care.
Authorities have determined this attack to be a premeditated act of organized crime, due to the amount of attackers and their uniform appearance. Though no motive has been determined nor a guilty party uncovered in the China train station stabbing that killed 28 people, Chinese authorities are suggesting that this act of violence may be a terrorist attack. Further, police and other officials in China are speculating that the violent event may have been carried out by a group of people called the Uighur.
The Muslim Uighur is an extremist group of separatists who live in the western region of Xinjiang, China. This extremist group of Turkic people are blamed for several recent terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang region as means of retaliating for their current social position. The Uighur people have been declining to a minority in China, as the Han settlers have populated their territory taking high-paying jobs leaving the Uighur people to perform manual labor and other low status jobs. The Uighur also feel that their culture and religion are being stifled due to China’s separatist movement.
In the last year alone the Uighur have carried out several terrorist attacks, killing and wounding man in China. In 2014 the group was responsible for an attack involving assailants on motorbikes and in cars carrying home made bombs in gas cylinders, targeted at police officers in China. The incident ended in the deaths of eight terrorists, three of which died in a suicide mission detonating their explosives.
Another attack which took place in April of 2013 in Xinjiang, China involved members of the Uighur group attacking victims using axes and knives. This act of terrorism resulted in 21 deaths, along with a house burning to the ground.
The China train station stabbing which killed 28 people this Saturday has caused much concern for personal security in the already crime riddled province of Xinjiang. As police officers, including the heralded security figure Meng Jianzhu, work to uncover motive and a guilty party President Xi Jinping sends his condolences to the families of the victims and a promise to seek justice in this deadly incident.
By Allison Longstreet