At least 28 dead in ‘terror’ attack at Chinese train station

Police stand near luggages left at the ticket office after a group of armed men attacked people at Kunming railway station, Yunnan province. Credit: Reuters
Police stand near luggages left at the ticket office after a group of armed men attacked people at Kunming railway station, Yunnan province.
Credit: Reuters

At least 28 people were killed by knife-wielding attackers in a “violent terrorist attack” at a train station in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, and police shot dead five of the assailants, state media said on Sunday.

Another 113 people were wounded, the official Xinhua news agency said, revising down a previous higher figure. It said the attack had taken place late on Saturday evening.

“It was an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack,” Xinhua said.

Police were searching for around five others of the unidentified attackers, it said.

Kunming resident Yang Haifei told Xinhua that he was buying a ticket when he saw a group of people, mostly wearing black, rush into the station and start attacking bystanders.

“I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone,” he said, adding that the attackers caught those who were slower. “They just fell on the ground.”

Graphic pictures on the Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo showed bodies covered in blood lying on the ground at the station.

State television showed police wrapping a long, sword-like knife in a plastic bag, amid heavy security at the station.

There was no immediate word on who was responsible.

Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered no effort be spared to track down those behind the attack.

“Severely punish in accordance with the law the violent terrorists and resolutely crack down on those who have been swollen with arrogance,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

“Understand the serious and complex nation of combating terrorism,” Xi said. “Go all out to maintain social stability.”

Domestic security chief Meng Jianzhu was on his way to the scene, Xinhua said.

Weibo users took to the service to describe details of what happened, though many of the posts were quickly deleted by government censors, especially those that described the attackers, two of whom were identified by some as women.

Others condemned the attack.

“No matter who, for whatever reason, or of what race, chose somewhere so crowded as a train station, and made innocent people their target – they are evil and they should go to hell,” wrote one user.

The attack comes at a sensitive time as China gears up for the annual meeting of parliament, which opens in Beijing on Wednesday and is normally accompanied by a tightening of security across the country.

China has blamed similar incidents in the past on Islamist militants operating in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, though such attacks have generally been limited to Xinjiang itself.

China says its first major suicide attack, in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October, involved militants from Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, many of whom chafe at Chinese restrictions on their culture and religion.

Hu Xijin, editor of the influential Global Times newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, wrote on his Weibo feed that the government should say who it suspected of the attack as soon as possible.

“If it was Xinjiang separatists, it needs to be announced promptly, as hearsay should not be allowed to fill the vacuum,” Hu wrote.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…