7 Killed, 28 Injured in Xinjiang Knife Attack
   2011-07-31 09:15:08    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Liu

At least seven people were killed by rioters on Saturday night in the city of Kashgar in northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities confirmed.

Two suspects hijacked a truck at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, stabbing the driver to death and ramming into pedestrians. The pair later jumped out of the truck and hacked bystanders.

At least six were killed on the spot and 28 others were injured. One of the rioters died while fighting with locals, and the other was apprehended.

Before the incident two blasts were heard. The first occurred at about 10:30 p.m. from a minivan, while the other was heard almost at the same time from a food street, where the men hijacked the truck.

In the aftermath of the incident on Sunday, streets were nearly deserted, and some residents remain shaken by what transpired.

"I can't believe this happened," said tearful Yang Hongmei. "One of my colleagues died," she sobbed.

According to Yang, many residents were gathered on the square outside her office when the suspects rushed into the throng and began attacking bystanders.

"Our security guards tried to save the residents while our manager attempted to subdue an attacker by holding him, but the man had a knife and stabbed him in his abdomen," she recalled.

The seriously injured manager was taken to the hospital but died.

"There were cries and blood everywhere," Yang said. "Terrified people flooded into our office to hide."

Although Yang and her colleagues have cleaned the area, blood stains can still be seen on the road.

Li Fu was repairing motorcycles by the road when the incident happened. "I saw a blue truck speed through the crossing and plough into the crowd," he said.

At first Li thought it was only a traffic accident.

"But soon I heard people screaming 'someone is killing people,' so then I shut my store."

Wang Wei helped rescuers to carry the injured.

"I saw several people stuck under electric bicycles," he said. "When I helped carry them to the ambulance, I saw that three were already dead."

An unnamed driver complained angrily about the violence. "In August 2008 a rioter assaulted local police. Now a similar incident has happened again. Why do they attack innocent people?"

Xinjiang, home to China's Uygur minority, has been under terrorist threat.

Police shot 14 rioters who attacked a police station and killed four people in Xinjiang's Hotan city on July 18.

The attack left four people dead, including an armed police officer, a security guard, a woman and a teenage girl. At least four others were injured.

Police concluded later that the riot was "a severely violent terrorism case" that was organized by terrorism groups.

A big riot happened on July 5, 2009, when rock-flinging and knife-wielding rioters looted shops, torched vehicles and killed nearly 200 people.

In March 2008, five months before the Beijing Olympics, police arrested a 19-year-old Uygur for her foiled terrorist attempt on a passenger flight.

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