The Kunming train station in Yunnan Province, China was the sight of a horrific scene after 10 knife-wielding assailants cut and slashed dozens of people, leaving over 130 people were injured and another 33 were left dead from the attack.
The assailants dressed head to toe in black, rushed through the crowded Kunming train station, cutting the throats of the closest individual.
A majority of those individuals attacked were civilians waiting to catch the train, coming home from work, or simply making their way across town. Eye-witness accounts tell of the horror scene that followed shortly after the knife-wielding assailants made their appearance.
One individual identified as a student, Qiao Yunao, witnessed the attack as he waited to board a train at the station.
Qiao Yunao recalls the violent attack, saying he witnessed two attackers carrying assorted fruit cutting knifes running through the crowd, one of them slashing a man’s neck as he passed.
Other witnesses say it was sheer pandamonium as people tried taking refuge inside local convenience stores, while those who were slow to get away ended up falling victim to the knife-wielding assailants.
Some families and friends of those who were present at Kunming station at the time of the attack are still unaware of their loved one’s situations. One witness said she was separated from her husband in the attack, and that she couldn’t reach him on his phone.
Blame is being placed on an ethnic separatist group in Western China, home to a rebellious region of the Muslim Uighur population. A suicide car bomb that left five people dead in Beijing’s Tiananmen Gate last November is said to have been the work of the same group. Police shot and killed four of the attackers in the Kunming station attack.
One of the assailants arrested, as well as the evidence left behind at the scene of the crime have convinced Chinese authorities that the attack was carried out by “Xinjiang separatist forces.”
Chinese officials say the location of the attack does not fit the group’s pattern. Most attacks carried out by the separatist group take place in the western region of Xinjiang, but the latest attack took place almost 620 miles the southeast in Yunnan Province.
It is reported that China’s top police official, Meng Jianzhu, personally visited Kunming station where the attack took place, leaving only to visit the wounded in the hospital. Observers say such a trip from a high ranking Politburo member emphasizes how serious Chinese officials are taking the latest attack.
President Xi Jinping says he is calling for authorities “all-out efforts” in bringing to justice those responsible for the violent attack.
China’s state TV broadcasted images of a heavily guarded Kunming station following the attack, as well as officials cleaning up the mess from such a violent attack.
Observers say this is one of the bloodiest attacks to hit China in recent years, and officials say they are doing everything in their power to bring those to justice responsible for the attack.
There has been no comment from the ethnic separatists in Xinjiang.