Chinese state media says five suicide bombers carried out Xinjiang attack
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 01:37
May 23 - Chinese state media reports that five suicide bombers carried out the attack which killed 31 people in the capital of China's troubled Xinjiang region. Sarah Toms reports.
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It's been one day since China's deadliest act of violence in the troubled Xinjiang region......and security is still tight and police are on edge.
Only now has state media revealed that five suicide bombers were behind the attack here in the capital Urumqi.
This video has just emerged, showing broken windows and damaged shop fronts after the attackers ploughed two vehicles into the open market, hurling explosives.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ETHNIC HAN CHINESE URUMQI RESIDENT MRS. TIAN SAYING:
"Then another car quickly followed, and in the same way it just ploughed straight forward. I said 'Oh no, something's happening' and I turned straight around and ran away, and then I heard the sound of explosions, 'bang, bang'."
More than 30 people died. Most of them were elderly shoppers, mostly Hans, China's majority ethnic group.
Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur minority, who have long complained of official discrimination in favour of the Han people.
Hospitals were packed with nearly 100 people wounded in the attack.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 79-YEAR-OLD ETHNIC HAN URUMQI RESIDENT TIAN JUFENG SAYING:
"The fire burst out suddenly and I didn't know what was happening. When I turned around, the car was already on top of me, here. I felt like there was no-one around and struggled to crawl out."
Chinese officials visited some of the wounded.
They blame Islamists and separatists for the worsening violence in Xinjiang and say the attack was an act of terrorism. But human rights groups say China's repressive policies targeting the religious freedom and economic opportunities of the Uighurs were the reasons for the unrest.
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