Late last night (China time), a team of eight* (updated) knife-wielding terrorists attacked the Kunming Train Station, in the capital of Yunnan, killing 29 and injuring 130 (143, as of March 3). Four of the attackers were shot and killed at the scene and another was injured and arrested. Five were reportedly on the loose at the time of the original posting, although as of March 4, it has been reported that there were eight attackers and all have been arrested or killed. As of 3:30 pm, three are reportedly arrested. The attack was reportedly carried out by Xinjiang separatists.
ChinaHush is following the story on Weibo and updating as the story develops.
UPDATES (as of 3 pm on Mar. 4): Initial reports stated that there were about 10 attackers or “more than 10” (WaPo). As of March 3, reports indicate that there were eight attackers (BBC). The Ministry of Public Security has identified Abdurehim Kurban as the “mastermind” of the attack (SCMP/Xinhua). Also as noted by the SCMP, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference observed a moment of silence for the victims, and there is talk of passing comprehensive anti-terrorism legislative. Weibo users have started a campaign on Weibo to push back against stereotyping of Xinjiang people. The hashtag “I am a Xinjiang Person” has become a hot top. Read the top tweets of the anti-discrimination hashtag.
CCTV is reporting that the arrested suspect is a woman and is “key” to the investigation:
Lead Story News: 【Arrested Female Suspect Becomes Kunming Terrorist Attack Key Evidence】As reported by CCTV, the police said that police at Kunming Railway Station shot and killed 4 thugs on the spot and arrested 1. Among the five suspects, 3 men and 2 women. 1 female suspect was injured and was successfully captured. She is at the hospital receiving urgent care. This female suspect has become a key piece of evidence for the investigation.
– March 2, 10:18 am
Since then, more have been arrested. Here is a photo of one of the suspects in custody. The arrest reportedly occurred near Camellia Park, about 2 kilometers north of Kunming Railway Station along the main road that leads to the station, according to QQ News.
A photo of forces in Kunming:
A story of one of the victims, an “honest farmer” whose husband was murdered:
Wuxi Taihu Lake Pearl Website: 【Kunming Violent Terrorist Attack: Innocents Murdered in Cold Blood】A group of people burst in and hacked away at anyone they saw. Victim Xiong Wenguang, born in 1955, he had bought tickets to go with his wife Chen Guizhen on the 2nd to Zhejiang to work. The wife, who survived, rummaged through the backpack to find the tickets. The bag is stained with blood. Money is out. The purse is out. Facial tissues are out. She says, “We are just honest farmers. Why are some people so cruel?” via People’s Daily
无锡太湖明珠网新浪机构认证：【昆明暴力恐怖案直击：无辜人惨遭毒手】一群人冲进来，见人就砍。死者熊文光，1955年出生。他跟妻子陈桂珍本来买好2日的票，去浙江打工。幸免于难的妻子在背包里翻找丈夫的车票，包里沾满鲜血，钞票上、皮包上、纸巾上。“我们都是老老实实的农民，这些人为什么要这样心狠？” via 人民日报
Anchor Cheng Gang: Yunnan Broadcast Satellite TV Channel, city channel, public channel is now live, I get ready to go on the air
Kunming people are helping the victims:
Guo Yifan, Chief Technology Officer of an entertainment company: 57-year-old lady, can’t donate blood because of age limit. She saw that many people were donating blood, and she quickly decided to volunteer counselor. Kunming has such righteous people, We are not afraid of you thugs!
– March 2, 11:00 am
“Big Bear”, a visiting professor at Yunnan University and host of the Bear Talk Podcast: Lovely Kunming people are already mobilizing into action. The ordinarily empty blood donation station is full of people. Men and women, old and young. Yunnan people may have some slight shortcomings, but on the big questions before us, we are not lagging. I am waiting in line
– March 2, 2:04 pm
Beijing News: #Praying For Kunming# 【Kunming People Enthusiastically Giving Blood on the Street, Waiting Line Stretches Over 10 Meters】 “From 10 am this morning until now, they already had to send out for over 100 copies of the blood donation sign up forms. The blood donation truck has always been full.” After 3 pm, the doctor responsible for collecting blood at a blood donation point on Linyu Road said. Inside the truck, it is packed with citizens enthusiastic to donate blood, while a line of citizens waiting to fill out the form stretches for 20 meters. (Report Wang Ruifeng)http://t.cn/8FdPTRV
– March 2, 6:27 pm
A photo circulating on Weibo isn’t actually a photo of the attacker’s shirt. The photo shows a black tee shirt with an Islamic star and crescent on it and a police officer in the background. The message says to watch out for people wearing the shirt. The photo has been sourced to before this particular attack. One forum post from July 2, 2013 features the shirt.
Here is what one of the messages that has been forwarded over 1,000 times says:
Love in Shantou: No matter where you are, if you see someone wearing clothes with this depiction on it, quickly get out and tell the police! Added: If it has this kind of depiction, it doesn’t matter what color the clothes are. Just as long as it has this drawing of a star and moon, hide far away (insurgent clothing). Everyone who sees this message, immediately share it and tell your family members who don’t have Weibo. Safety first! A moment of silence for our Kunming compatriots!
爱上汕头: 不管你在哪个城市哪个地方，路上遇见穿附图这样衣服的，请尽快走开或报警！ 补充：衣服样式如图，无论是什么颜色。只要是如图这样画着星星月亮，都躲远（暴动分子的衣服） 所有可以看到这条信息的朋友马上相互转告，并告诉自己家里没有微博的亲人，安全第一！为受害的昆明同胞默哀！
– March 2, 6:56 pm
Photos of the front pages of some of newspapers:
This morning, March 2, the train station is back to normal, bustling with passengers, as Xinhua reported:
Weibo user 我一微笑_你就羞了 (Once I Smile, You Become Shy) shared this artwork:
The image looks similar to the word Kunming (昆明), but the character 匕 in red means “dagger”.
William Yuen: Because of them, everyone will be looking at Xinjiang people through tinted glasses. One piece of rat shit ruined the whole vat of porridge… …I remember last week in Shanghai, my friends and I ran into a Xinjiang pickpocket. Until today I have had a lingering fear. @徒步旅行白勺猫 A moment of silence for Kunming, too innocent… …I hope that there are more good Xinjiang people and people from across the country standing together at the front… …God bless.
– March 2, 12:31 pm
Some responses from celebrities:
Chen Kun, actor, the #1 Weibo user: A moment of silence for the dead! [candles][crying face]
陈坤: 为死者默哀！[蜡烛][蜡烛][蜡烛][泪] – March 2, 9:28 am
Wang Leehom, Chinese-American singer: Perhaps, as the African wild coyote says, violence is the only way to solve the problem. But we are human. We have knowledge, we have a conscience, and we have the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. When I saw the news I was very disappointed and my heart was aching. May the dead rest in peace and the injured fully recover. Hope those murderers who committed these atrocities be brought to justice.
王力宏: 或許對非洲的野生土狼來說 暴力是唯一解決問題的方法。 但我們是人類。 我們有智慧，有良心，也分辨得了什麼是對和錯。 我看到了新聞真的好失望，也很心痛。 願死者安息，傷者都能夠痊癒。 願犯下如此可怕暴行的兇手能夠被繩之以法。
– March 2, 2:55 am
Yan Chen, actress: Seriously punish those terrorists! May the dead rest in peace! [candle]
姚晨: 严惩暴徒！逝者安息！[蜡烛] – March 2, 1:43 pm
Yuan Hong, actor: Kunming friends, are you okay? The terrorists are still on the run, reminding everyone to be on alert. I hope the injured get well soon and the dead rest in peace[candles]. As for us, try to stay calm and rational. At this time, any negative hostility from us, it is their goal, in creating this tragedy. The scars of hatred cut by the devil only heal with love.
– March 2, 10:20 am
He Jiong, Hunnan Satellite TV Host: Kunming, wishing for peace.
– March 1, 11:32 pm
Han Geng, singer and actor: May the dead rest in peace and the injured get well[heart]! Condemning terrorist violence! [angry] RT// @赵薇: Popular indignation! RT// @kent_zhao: [angry]Learn from Comrade Putin!
韩庚: 愿逝者安息，伤者平安[心]！谴责恐怖暴力！[怒] //@赵薇:人神共愤！ //@kent_zhao:[怒]要学习普京同志!
– March 2, 11:27 am
Gao Yuanyuan, actress: Praying for Kunming. May the dead rest in peace, wish the injured have a quick recovery. [praying]
– March 2, 10:35 am
Guo Jingming, youth author (Tiny Times): Abhor violence! Strongly punish the murderers! May the dead rest in peace. [candles]
郭敬明: 痛恨暴力！严惩凶手！愿逝者安息。[蜡烛][蜡烛][蜡烛] – March 2, 3:00 am
A larger exile group, the World Uighur Congress, opposes what it considers the occupation of Xinjiang, but rejects violence.
It is certainly true that some Uighurs have been fighting as jihadis in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and that awareness of Islamic fundamentalism has become more widespread in Xinjiang through the internet and DVDs.
But until now the Chinese government has offered little evidence to support its repeated claims that it is fighting its own “War on Terror” in Xinjiang.
In fact, most incidents reported in the official media as terrorism seem to have been local violence over local grievances,
In Canada we call it a local protest by peaceful Uighurs.
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