23 May 2014
Explosions at a crowded market killed 31 people and wounded 94 on Thursday morning in Urumqi, the capital of the restive Xinjiang region of China, in what officials called a ‘‘violent terrorist attack.’’ It was the deadliest burst of violence this year, highlighting a growing challenge to Chinese rule in a region that is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic group.
Shortly after the blasts, President Xi Jinping ‘‘pledged to severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability,’’ reported Xinhua, the state-run news agency. The series of explosions hit at 7:50 a.m., with Xinhua quoting witnesses as saying that two ‘‘cross-country vehicles’’ plowed into market crowds and that explosives were thrown from them.
… Rohan Gunaratna, a professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore who studies terrorism in Asia, said the attack showed that the Chinese government should rethink its approach to counterterrorism in Xinjiang. It should focus on winning the support and trust of Uighurs so that they do not view militants with sympathy and instead help the government in its effort to gather intelligence, he said.
‘‘Unless China improves its counterterrorism capabilities, these attacks will continue and the terrorists will become more brazen,’’ Mr. Gunaratna said in a telephone interview.
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Print
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