More than 10 knife-wielding attackers slashed people at a train station in southwestern China in what authorities called a terrorist attack, and police fatally shot five of the assailants, leaving 29 people dead and 130 injured.
Kunming is the capital and largest city of the Yunnan province in Southwest China.
State media blamed the killings at Kunming in Yunnan province, south-west China, on militants from Xinjiang in the country’s restive north-west. “Evidence at the crime scene showed that the Kunming railway station terrorist attack was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces,” the Xinhua news agency said, quoting officials in the city.
UPDATE 2 March 2014
It is understood that the attackers were Xinjiang separatists movement and that Kunming was targeted as the National Peoples Conference is to be held there this month.
Police managed to kill four of the attackers and have vowed to arrest the rest.
It is the first time people from the north-western region have been accused of such a major and organised attack outside its borders, despite rising unrest there in recent years. Many of its Uighur ethnic group, who are Muslim and Turkic-speaking, chafe at Chinese policies and a smaller number want an independent state.
At least 100 people have died in outbreaks of violence in the region in the last year. Last month, police killed eight people they said had attacked patrol cars in Xinjiang. In 2009, almost 200 died in vicious ethnic riots in its capital, Ürümqi.
A commentary on the English website of the state newspaper Global Times described the attack as “China’s 9/11”, saying: “The latest attacks in Beijing and Kunming have clearly indicated a despicable trend that separatists are targeting civilians out of Xinjiang.
Kunming will be hosting the National Peoples Conference and could be seen as a reason why the attack was carried out.
The Police have vowed to capture the remainder of the terrorists
Chinese police have arrested 45 people for “spreading rumours” online.