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Scores dead in mass knife attack at Chinese train station

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-02

A group of knife-wielding men attacked a train station in southwestern China on Saturday, leaving dozens dead and another hundred injured, the official Xinhua News Agency said, making it one of the deadliest attacks in China in recent years.

At least 29 people were killed in the attack, while more than 130 others were injured, Xinhua reported.

State television said on its official microblog that the incident had been deemed a “violent terror attack”.

Kunming resident Yang Haifei told Xinhua that he was buying a ticket when he saw a group of people mostly wearing black rush into the station and start attacking bystanders.

“I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone,” he said. Those who were slower were caught by the attackers. “They just fell on the ground.”

Graphic pictures on the Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo showed bodies covered in blood lying on the ground at the station.

Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

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Xinhua quoted the Kunming city government as saying evidence at the crime scene showed the attack was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces.

China's domestic security chief, Meng Jianzhu, vowed those responsible would be brought to justice.

The attack comes at a particularly sensitive time as China gears up for the annual meeting of parliament, which opens in Beijing on Wednesday and is normally accompanied by a tightening of security across the country.

China has blamed similar incidents on Islamist extremists operating in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, though such attacks have generally been limited to Xinjiang itself.

China says its first major suicide attack, in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October, involved militants from Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, many of whom chafe at Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2014-03-01

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