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Kunming attack: China points to external terror links
March 2, 2014, 5:45 am


Chinese police guards outside the Kunming Railway Station in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province on 1 March 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese police guards outside the Kunming Railway Station in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province on 1 March 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also heads the country’s National Security Commission on Sunday vowed to crackdown on terrorism and bring the perpetrators of Saturday’s attack to justice.

An attack by what Chinese authorities claimed were ‘Xinjiang separatists’, have left 29 people dead and more than 130 injured on Saturday.

The Chinese President has directed officials to “firmly suppress terrorists’ rampant momentum, be fully aware of the grave and complex anti-terrorism situation and strengthen bottom-line thinking”.

China’s national security experts have said those responsible for Saturday’s attack have links to terror groups outside China.

“We should launch a nationwide campaign against such terrorist activities and resolutely fight the terrorists,” said Yin Zhuo, director of the expert committee of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

“The well-planned attack was not an issue of ethnics or religion, it was an issue of terrorism with links to the terrorist forces out of the country,” he added.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Saturday’s terror attack with a statement saying he “notes that there is no justification for the killing of innocent civilians and hopes that those responsible will be brought to justice”.

Knife-wielding attackers went on a rampage in a train terminal in southwest China’ s Kunming City on Saturday. 5 of the attackers were gunned down by Chinese police. According to Chinese state media reports, security officials are tracking down the remaining suspected terrorists from the restive Xinjiang region.

China’s energy-rich Xinjiang has been beset by violence as 100 people were killed in the region in recent months.

In February, security forces killed 11 terrorists near Xinjiang’s border with Kyrgyzstan. Five suspected Islamist militants were arrested in October after a terrorist attack on Beijing’s central Tiananmen square.

International media reports on these recent terror attacks on China have accused Chinese authorities of heavy-handedness and a clampdown on religious freedom.

Russian political commentator Dmitry Babich says this could be a dangerous oversight. Why, Babich asks, was recent news about the last three Uyghur prisoners being released from the American prison camp in Guantanamo and sent to Slovakia went almost unnoticed anywhere in the world outside China?

“If people who “occasionally” found themselves in a terrorist camp in Afghanistan (a suspect place to be for a ‘peaceful person’) direct their future actions against the United States or one of America’s many allies, these people are considered terrorists or at least dangerous individuals. But if they direct their “anger” and possible armed actions against China, they are not considered terrorists,” wrote Babich for The BRICS Post.

Security concerns will top the agenda at the upcoming meets of China’s national assembly, the NPC and the political advisory body, the CPPCC which open this week in Beijing, where the country’ s lawmakers and political advisors are convening.


TBP and Agencies

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