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China knife attack bloodbath

March 2, 2014

Chinese authorities have blamed Uighur separatists for the bloodbath at a train station in southwestern Yunnan province. The assault by knife-wielding assailants left more than two dozen people dead.

China Bahnhof Kunming Anschlag

China hunts station attackers

Uighur separatists from the restive province of Xinjiang were responsible for the mass stabbing at a train station in Yunnan province on Saturday, according to China's Xinhua state news agency.

At least 10 knife-wielding assailants clad in black randomly attacked pedestrians at the train station in the city of Kunming. At least 33 people died and another 130 people were injured in the attack. Police shot dead four of the assailants and detained another. Five other culprits are on the run, according to state media.

"Evidence at the crime scene showed that the Kunming railway station terrorist attack was carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces," Xinhua reported.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for "all-out efforts" to bring the culprits to justice "in accordance with the law."

The country's domestic security chief, Meng Jianzhu, has been dispatched to the scene to oversee the handling of the case, according to the state television broadcaster CCTV.

Restive Xinjiang

The western province of Xinjiang, located 1,000 kilometers away from the scene of Saturday's attack in Yunnan, has a long history of unrest. Uighur Muslims native to Xinjiang accuse Beijing of restricting their religious and cultural practices.

Knife and bomb attacks against government officials are known to occur sporadically in Xinjiang. But violence related to the Uighur community's political situation typically does not occur outside of their native province.

In one high-profile incident last October, three Uighur family members set fire to their car in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, killing themselves and two bystanders.

slk/jr (AP, AFP, Reuters)