December 21, 2014
China blames religion extremists for train blast
An attack at a train station in China's western city of Urumqi was carried out by two religious extremists, who both died in the blast, the government said.
Three people were killed, including the assailants, and 79 wounded in a bomb and knife attack at the station yesterday, according to the government and state media, as President Xi Jinping was wrapping up a visit to the area.
The Xinjiang regional government said on its official news website (www.ts.cn) that the two attackers who were killed had "long been influenced by extremist religious thought and participated in extremist religious activities".
It identified one of them as Sedierding Shawuti, a 39-year-old man from Xayar county in Xinjiang's Aksu region. The man is a member of the Muslim Uighur minority, judging by his name.
It did not identify the other person. The third person who was killed was a bystander, the government said.
Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
In remarks released today from Xi's trip to Xinjiang, the president urged troops there to "strike crushing blows against violent terrorist forces and resolutely strike against terrorists who are swollen with arrogance".
"Resolutely crush the space for terrorist activities and contain the spreading trend of escalation," Xi said.
Yesterday's blast was the first bomb attack in the capital of Xinjiang region in 17 years. It came soon after the arrival of a train from a mainly Han Chinese province, state media said.