A large explosion shook a railway station in Xinjiang located in the far-western region of China. Reports say that 79 people were injured and three were killed during the attack. The incident happened on Wednesday, just after President Xi Jinping visited the area.
Based on CCTV records, assailants attacked a crowd with knives then set off the explosions at the train station. With these acts caught on surveillance video, the media is calling the incident a premeditated terrorist attack.
The train station was closed for around two hours after the attacks, and later reopened under the watchful eyes of armed authorities.
A woman, who was working her shift at a convenience store near the station, said that the explosion happened a little after 7 pm.
Photos of the damaged train station circulated on Chinese websites. The photos showed luggage spread out near the train station’s exit. Authorities are yet to find the perpetrators.
Xinjiang is an area where tensions between Uighurs and the Chinese have been brewing for years. The violence in Xinjian is often blamed on the separatists and Uighurs – Muslims that mostly reside in the northwestern part of China.
One of the professors at the Loyola University in New Orleans, Rian Thum, said that the explosives were used in order to target civilians. Thum specializes in Uighur history and said that they used a different tactic this time in order to deviate “from previous patterns of Uighur political violence.”
According to the government’s critics, the Uighurs feel excluded from Xinjiang's economic growth by the local government's use of discriminatory practices.
As a precaution, China has provided Xinjiang with more security. They have also restricted the travel rights and the religious practices of Uighurs, saying that they are the ones responsible for the increased level of violence in the region.
Uighurs In China Feel Persecuted
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