May 22, 2014 By

Urumqi attack: 31 killed in Xinjiang region


In an early morning explosion in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwest Xinjiang region, 31 people were killed and more than 90 injured, Chinese media reports say. The attack comes week after a violent and bloody bomb and knife attack at Urumqi railway station on April 30 killing three people and injuring 79. China blamed it on Uighur separatists.

The attackers crashed two cars into a crowded market lined with vegetable stalls on a street near Renmin Park, about 4km from the city’s main square, at around 7.30 am on Thursday, destroying the market stalls and toppling piles of goods causing fire and burning clouds of smoke. The attackers threw explosives from the vehicles, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. Eyewitnesses reported of loud explosions and blazing clouds extending one storey high.

The Ministry of Public Security called it a “violent terrorist incident”. Xinjiang is home to Uighurs, the ethnic Turkic Muslim minority that constitutes 45% of the region’s population. Uighurs fears the immigration of ethnic Han Chinese who makes up to 40%, into Xinjiang. Ethnic tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese persist triggering violence and bloodshed in the region.

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