Tiananmen Square ‘suicide crash’ blamed on Uighurs
Police have been engaged in a citywide manhunt for two suspects, reportedly from the ethnic Muslim minority from the restive Xinjiang province in the far west of China
Chinese authorities are seeking information on two men in connection with a fatal car crash at Tiananmen Square on Monday, which is now believed to have been a suicide attack carried out by separatists.
Three men drove a 4x4 vehicle into a crowd at the sensitive attraction at Beijing’s Forbidden City. The car burst into flames before it crashed, killing the passengers and two tourists.
Eyewitnesses spoke of a banner visible in the back of the white SUV as it ploughed into the bystanders milling around almost directly below the portrait of modern China’s founding father Mao Zedong. The vast Tiananmen Square was the site of a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989. These days it has the heaviest security of any site in China.
The square is beside the central leadership compound of Zhongnanhai, and on one side it has the Great Hall of the People, where the parliament meets once a year, and it is also home to Mao’s mausoleum. Police have been engaged in a citywide manhunt looking for the two suspects, who are reportedly ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from the restive Xinjiang province in the far west of China, bordering Central Asia.
“It looks like a pre-meditated suicide attack,” a source with direct knowledge of the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. Police released no word about a possible motive for Monday’s incident, but a police notice sent round to hotels in the city said a “major case had taken place on Monday” and named two residents of Pishan county and Shanshan county in Xinjiang as likely suspects. It was unclear whether the two were believed to have perished in the car or were still at large.
Xinjiang’s eight million Turkic-speaking Uighurs are a Turkic Muslim ethnic group that shares cultural links to central Asia, and is quite distinct from China’s majority Han. Many feel overwhelmed by Han Chinese influence, a migration they describe as cultural imperialism driven by Beijing.
The Communist Party tightly controls expressions of Islam and other religions throughout China. A simmering separatist campaign in the region has occasionally boiled over into violence during the past 20 years, although the unrest has never reached the nation’s capital.
Uighurs are also not known to have previously carried out any suicide attacks.
- 1 Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
- 2 Novel Scarlett Johansson tried to ban, Grégoire Delacourt’s The First Thing You See, to be published in UK
- 3 Toby Sheldon: Justin Bieber lookalike found dead in motel room
- 4 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
- 5 Pregnant teenager Neysi Perez 'wakes up in coffin' a day after her funeral
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Nazi gold train: 'Significant' discovery made in Poland
Toby Sheldon: Justin Bieber lookalike found dead in motel room
Horses 'neglected for 15 years' found with 3ft-long hooves
Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing, ambitious, en...