Manhunt after terror attack
Updated: 2014-03-03 08:56
By Guo Anfei in Kunming Cui Jia, Hu Yongqi and He Na in Beijing (China Daily)
Armed policemen stand guard in front of Kunming Railway Station on March 2, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
Total death toll in Kunming assault rises to 29; at least 130 injured
As the death toll from Saturday's terrorist attack at Kunming Railway Station in Yunnan province rose to 29 and the number of injured topped 130, the search for the perpetrators continued.
On Sunday, Kunming's government said evidence at the scene indicated that the attack was committed by terrorists from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. If so, it would be the latest in a string of attacks related to the autonomous region, including incidents in January and February.
More than 10 masked people, dressed in identical black outfits and wielding large knives, stabbed and slashed passengers in the station's square and ticket hall. The attack began at 9:20 pm on Saturday and lasted about 12 minutes, according to China Central Television.
Police killed four of the assailants at the scene. Their identities have yet to be established. One woman was arrested.
There was a heavy police presence at the station on Sunday. The bloodstains had been washed away and passengers had returned to the busy transport hub. Flowers had been laid at the base of a bronze sculpture in the center of the square. Police had placed unclaimed luggage in a corner of the station, but some of the owners will never reclaim their belongings.
President Xi Jinping called for intensive efforts to crack down on violent factions and said the attackers would be punished in accordance with the law. He also praised the work of the police and medical workers, and he paid tribute to the victims of the attack, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Shortly after the attack, Xi assigned officials - including Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and Guo Shengkun, minister of public security - to go to Yunnan to guide the operations and visit the injured and relatives of the dead.
Guo said the police will conduct a thorough investigation and will also crack down on the possession of knives and firearms to reduce the risk to the public.
Premier Li Keqiang urged police across China to strengthen public security measures at all levels.
On Sunday, Lyu Xinhua, spokesman for the Second Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told a media briefing that the attack exposed the "anti-human and anti-social" nature of the perpetrators and said they will be severely punished.