World Bulletin / News Desk
Chinese police shot dead two Uighur women during a raid on the outskirts of Guangzhou just hours before a knife attack at the southern city’s main rail station, local media reported on Sunday.
The March 5 operation saw police arrest more than a dozen Uighur men when officers swooped on Xiniujiao village, near the capital of Guangdong province, witnesses told the Hong Kong-based Sunday Morning Post.
Hours later, 13 people were injured when three knife-wielding men attacked people at random at Guangzhou rail station. One suspect was shot dead and another arrested.
Police have not publicly discussed the ethnicity of the attackers or linked the raid with the knife attacks but locals told the Post the two were connected.
A property agent told the newspaper: "Right after the arrest, you see the railway station attack the very next morning. Of course they are related."
The Chinese authorities have blamed previous knife attacks in public places on Uighur separatists, such as the March 2014 attacks at Kunming train station in Yunnan province that left 31 people dead and 141 wounded.
The Post reported a leaked police document circulating online as saying: "Two knife-holding women resisted arrest and were shot by police. One was killed on site with the other one pronounced dead after being treated by hospital. No police were hurt."
Describing the rail station attack, the report said two suspects who appeared to be Uighur attacked civilians on the morning of March 6. One was shot dead and the other was arrested. It confirmed a third man was at large.
The briefing document also mentioned a series of failed attempts to smuggle Uighur out of China through Macao, 145 kilometers (90 miles) south of Guangzhou.
The attacks at Guangzhou were the second set of attacks at the city’s rail station within a year. An assailant wounded six people in May last year.
China has launched a crackdown focusing on the western East Turkistan autonomous region, home to a sizeable Uighur Muslim minority, which activists say is a smokescreen for repression and has led to many Uighur seeking to leave China.
The Uighur are a mostly Muslim ethnic Turkic group that constitutes around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population.Last Mod: 15 Mart 2015, 11:32