"We Saw Hell in Heaven": Xinjiang Attack Survivors
   2013-07-06 00:59:07    Xinhua      Web Editor: Guo Jing
Rioters killed 24 police officers and civilians and injured 21 others in a violent terrorist attack in Lukqun Township, located in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on June 26.

On Tuesday, Xinhua correspondents conducted exclusive interviews with those injured in the attack, hearing not only their accounts of the tragic moments but also their thoughts on the future.


One of Muratjan's arms was injured in the attack, and he saw his father get hacked to death by three of the rioters.

In his hospital ward, he told Xinhua that what he's left with is hate, not fear.

"I was in the toilet when I suddenly heard a scream," Muratjan said.

"I thought it was some migrant workers outside fighting with each other, but when I came out, I saw three people hacking a person with long knives," he said. "The scream I heard came from that person."

Muratjan's father was sleeping in the yard because of the hot weather.

"My father loudly shouted at the rioters, but unexpectedly, the three people rushed over to hack him instead.

"My father fell down after several hacks, but they did not give up and continued to attack him. I shouted at them, asking them to stop, but one of the three rioters came up and hacked at me. I instinctively used my arm to block the knife and then ran away.

"At that moment, I saw the rioter's face. I'd seen him before. He's a resident in the town, but I don't know his name.

"It was only after a while that I found my arm was bleeding. I hid myself in the corner of the room and did not run out until it was silent outside.

"I saw my father lying face down, with bleeding wounds all over his body. He still had his last breath at that time.

"I saw another man lying on the ground not far away. The man was also covered in blood all over his body and stayed still.

"Later, my uncle and neighbors took us to the hospital. The wounds in my arm were bandaged, but my father didn't make it..." Muratjan said.

"I have no fear but hatred!"

"Why did those rioters kill my father? I can't get it," he said. "They are not human beings, they are devils!"

Muratjan stayed strong while he relayed what he saw that day. Though he did not shed a single tear, he had a lost look on his face and bit his lip from time to time.

Other patients sharing the ward with Muratjan told Xinhua that some of the people injured in the attack constantly wake up from nightmares and have trouble sleeping.


Kurban, a street cleaner in Lukqun Township, was also injured in the attack. He had just finished an X-ray exam on the fracture in his fibula when Xinhua correspondents met with him at the hospital.

Kurban said he had planned to finish his work earlier in the morning, but he ran into the rioters as they stormed out of the township government building -- something he never expected.

"Three of the rioters were wearing masks, holding long knives," he said. "It was horrifying."

"In the morning, my wife reminded me of finishing cleaning earlier, so I went to work earlier than usual. I saw many people setting cars alight when I had almost reached the township government building. I felt it was strange and did not know what was happening."

About six to seven people with knives in their hands rushed into the compound of the township government after setting fire to cars. They set the government building on fire, and later they did the same to a two-story building across the street, he said. 

"The rioters were in head-covers, with only two ferocious eyes exposed, and I heard them yelling and chasing a person. It was terrible, for the knives are very long," Kurban said. "I didn't realize such horrible things until then."

Two police cars came from the direction of the local police station at that time, but the rioters did not run away. More rioters rushed out, wielding long knives and wooden sticks. They surrounded the police officers and smashed up the police cars in the middle of the road, he said.

"Then I heard several gun shots, and two rioters were shot down. When I realized I should run away, I just did not have a chance and was beaten down to the ground by the rioters," he recalled.

"Honeydew melon and grapes harvested in our Lukqun township are famous nationwide, which has attracted people from across the country to visit my hometown. Why don't they (the rioters) cherish such a good life? Why do they still want to kill people? Execution by shooting is too good for them," the street cleaner said.

Kurban brimmed with indignation as he recalled the morning attack with a resonant voice. He sometimes hurt himself during the interview, as his emotional gesturing disturbed his injured leg.

Kurban said he will contribute more to the development of the township and make sure the township is clean after he recovers.
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