News Column

China Suspects Terror Connection in Tiananmen Crash

October 29, 2013

EFE Ingles

Beijing, Oct 29 (EFE).- Police were searching Tuesday for two men from China's remote Xinjiang region, home of the mainly Muslim Uighurs, in connection with an incident that left 5 people dead and 38 injured in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Hours after the incident, police sent all hotels in the capital the names of suspects Yusuf Arputi and Yusuf Umarniaz, along with the license numbers of four vehicles from Xinjiang.

The two wanted men are natives of the Hotan and Turpan prefectures, which in recent years have been the scene of frequent clashes between Uighur separatists and Chinese security forces.

The police bulletin does not expressly connect the investigation with what happened in Tiananmen Square, about which the authorities have given little information and still refer to it a "traffic accident."

On Monday around 12:05 p.m. an SUV sped into the area near the gates of Tiananmen, where the famous portrait of Mao Zedong hangs at the entrance to the Forbidden City, and ran over several tourists and police officers before it crashed and caught fire.

The three passengers in the vehicle were killed in the flames along with two tourists, including a Filipino woman. Among the injured were four foreign visitors.

Tiananmen, known for the 1989 massacre of student protesters, has been in past years the scene of similar incidents, through Chinese censorship has generally covered them up and few details about them are known.

Xinjiang is an area inhabited by Muslim ethnicities related to peoples of Central Asia. In July 2009, a clash between Uighurs and Han Chinese left more than 200 dead in the regional capital, Urumqi.

The Chinese government attributes that event and others in the area to terrorist groups seeking to create an independent East Turkestan in Xinjiang.

Uighur groups in exile accuse the Communist regime of repressing their people and using terrorism as an excuse to increase the colonization and plundering of natural resources in the area, known to be rich in hydrocarbons. EFE


(c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

Original headline: China suspects Uighur separatists behind incident in Tiananmen

Source: (c) 2013 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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