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Kunming terror attacks targeted civilians

Posted March. 04, 2014 07:22,   


The knife attack stormed in railway station in Kunming, China on Saturday, which left 170 people either killed or wounded, shows how terror attacks in China are transforming into a westernized style inducing extreme social fear. China`s society that had been dependent on oppressive rule is at a crossroads.

Barry Sautman, professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told Hong Kong South China Morning Post that terrorists normally attack public institutions in areas they reside, but attack civilians elsewhere to stir sense of fear, adding this is generalized internationally. Uighur independent forces, which stayed within the Xinjiang, have expanded to Beijing and elsewhere since October last year. Sautman said terrorists are considering civilians as soft (easy) targets. Pan Zhiping, head of the Institute of Central Asia at Xinjiang Academy of Social Science, said no one had anticipated a terror attack in Kunming.

Government and public fear escalated Monday in Beijing, where the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference and 12th National People`s Congress were being held. Around the Korean and U.S. embassies in Chaoyang in early morning, armed policemen were guarding holding machine guns. In downtown areas, policemen grouped in six each with machine guns were also on patrol in roof-lifted cars.

State-owned Xinhua News Agency on Sunday reported that Meng Jianzhu, secretary of Central Politics and Law Commission of the Communist Party of China, was dispatched to Kunming, saying that "the secretary commanded the terror incident." The news was corrected after having described the secretary as head of terrorist group.

At the Great Hall of the People, the opening session attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping started with condolence and silent tribute to Kunming victims.