The police have captured all suspects involved in the China train station knife attack where more than 29 people were killed over the weekend. Four members of group of eight composed of 6 men and two women were killed at the scene, while the remaining 4 attackers escaped.
The news agency, Xinhua, announced on Monday Mar 3, that the 4 remaining suspects, including a woman who was wounded in the attack have been captured. According to the news agency, the leader of the gang has been identified as Abdurehim Kurban.
The attack in Kunming, which is in the south-west region, resulted in injury of 143 people, after the attackers who were all dressed in black ascended on the station and randomly began stabbing people. The incident appears to have been premeditated and organised by a terrorist organization according to the authorities.
Witnesses say that the group appear to be trained, and rehearsed, as they were able to overwhelm the station security, murder 12 people and injured more than 140 people in just 12 minutes.
Evidence collected at the scene appears to have confirmed the suspicions, that suspects captured by the police in the China train station attack were members of the Xinjiang separatists group.
The Uighur Muslims were once the majority in the region, but the numbers have been reduced to the point, where they make up just 45 percent of the population, and resent some of the rules that have been place on their religious practices. A small number of members have turned to adopting violence in response, and this violence appears to be slowly spreading.
The incident, in which the attackers were thought to be all male, occurred a few days before the annual opening session of the Chinese parliament of the National People’s Congress. Eye-witness reports later confirmed that women were involved in the attack, and national security, is now expected to be among the top of items on the agenda of the parliamentary session after the police captured all of the suspects in the China train station knife attack.
The attack in Kunming is noted as an escalation of violence and it appears that the timing was not coincidental. It appears to have been carefully planned to occur on the eve of an important political moment, when the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Peoples National Congress hold the joint annual session, and appeared to have been designed to attract global attention.
In 2009, almost 200 were killed in riots in 2009, when the Uighurs attacked the Han Chinese in the north-western region of the country. In October of 2013, 5 people were killed when a car was driven into a crowd of people near Tiananmen Square, and the separatists were believed to be responsible. There has been some discussion as to how the Chinese can respond to the recurring brutal attacks by the separatists in Xinjiang, and according to reports from the news agency Xinhua, president Xi Jinping has promised to crack down.
An increasing number of observers also believe that, outside influences may become more important. Professor Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the international research center for terrorism and political violence at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, sees the killings as a progression of the increasing terrorist threat in Xinjiang, as perpetrators sought to increase their impact.
An increasing amount of resources has been devoted to security, and it is not surprising that the police captured the suspects in the China Train station knife attack, but according to Gunaratna, a more robust security system is needed both internally and externally, before harsher measures are adopted.
Written By Dale Davidson