'Violent terror attack' at busy Chinese train station by knife-wielding assailants leaves 33 dead, 143 injured

'Dressed all in black', over 10 stabbed and slashed at random. Four of the attackers, including one woman, was shot dead by police at the scene

Over 10 knife-wielding assailants stormed through a railway station in south-west China on Saturday, killing 29 and injuring 143, in what officials said was a terrorist attack by ethnic separatists from the far west of the country.

Four of the group were shot dead by police and a fifth was captured after the group stabbed and slashed people at random late on Saturday at the Kunming train station in Yunnan province. The remainder are being searched for.

The Chinese President Xi Jinping promised a harsh response to the attack, saying “all-out efforts” are being exerted to “severely punish in accordance with the law the violent terrorists and resolutely crack down on those who have been swollen with arrogance.”

The country’s top police official Meng Jianzhu arrived in the city early on Sunday and officers have been rounding up members of the city's small Uighur community, believed to number no more than several dozen, for questioning about the attack and assailants.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers were dressed all in black and were wielding long knives. State broadcaster CCTV said at least two of the attackers were women - one of the dead and the captured one, who was later taken to a hospital for treatment.

The attackers' identities have not been confirmed, but the municipal government said evidence at the scene showed that it was “ a terrorist attack carried out by Xinjiang separatist forces,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Graphic photographs surfacing on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, showed a row of bloody bodies on the station concourse and at the Kunming No 1 hospital.

Qiao Yunao, a 16-year-old student, was waiting for a train at the station when the attack happened. He said he saw people crying out and running, and then a man cut another man's neck, drawing blood.

“I was freaking out, and ran to a fast food store, and many people were running in there to take refuge,” she told The Associated Press via Sina Weibo. “I saw two attackers, both men, one with a watermelon knife and the other with a fruit knife. They were running and chopping whoever they could.”

The Security Management Bureau, under the Ministry of Public Security, said the attack was a “severe violent crime” in its own message on Sina Weibo, adding: “No matter what motives the murderers hold, the killing of innocent people is against kindness and justice. The police will crack down the crimes in accordance with the law without any tolerance.”

Police officers patrol outside the railway station after the attack Police officers patrol outside the railway station after the attack There is a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule by some members of the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang province, located in the extreme west of China where the country borders central Asia. The government has responded with heavy-handed security.

Clashes between Uighurs and members of China's ethnic Han majority are frequent in Xinjiang, Saturday's attack however happened more than 620 miles to the southeast in Yunnan, which has not had a history of such unrest.

The assault was the deadliest incident attributed to Uighur-Han conflict since 2009, when a Uighur mob first attacked and killed Han people, included women and children, at random on the streets of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. A few days later, Han vigilante mobs attacked Uighurs in the same city. In total, nearly 200 people died.

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Key Accounts Administrator - Fixed Term

£13500 - £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - Business Services-£70,000 OTE

£35000 - £45000 per annum + OTE £70,000 + car + pension: h2 Recruit Ltd: A wel...

Recruitment Genius: Service Receptionist / Warranty Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL

£39000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML,...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game