Suspect in custody after six stabbed at Chinese rail station
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Police in China’s southern city of Guangzhou said Tuesday that a single person was responsible for a knife attack at a train station that left six people injured and that the suspect had been shot and wounded before being taken into custody.
“After verbal warnings were ineffective, police fired, hitting one male suspect holding a knife, and subdued him,” the police statement added.
Earlier reports on state media said that up to six assailants may have been involved, but the Guangzhou police said that their initial probe found there was just a single suspect.
The Xinhua state news agency said that the attacker had been hospitalised, and that police were not immediately able to identify him as he had no documents on him.
The attack was the latest in a series of assaults that have created jitters around the country.
Police gave no motive for the attack, but China has grown increasingly nervous about Islamic militancy since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October and 29 people were stabbed to death in March in the southwestern city of Kunming.
The government blamed Islamists from the restive far western region of Xinjiang for both the attacks. Resource-rich and strategically located Xinjiang, on the borders of Central Asia, has for years been beset by violence blamed by the Chinese government on Islamist militants.
Local television showed pictures of what it said was an apparently injured suspect being pressed to the ground by police and plainclothes security officials, as they removed a bloodied white T-shirt.
China blamed religious extremists also for a bomb and knife attack last Wednesday at a train station in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang that killed one bystander and wounded 79.
The government called the attackers “terrorists”, a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state.
Exiles and rights groups say the real cause of the unrest in Xinjiang is China’s heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Muslim Uighur people.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)