Free Press Journal

Several injured as blast hits railway station in China


Beijing: Scores of people were injured today when a powerful blast struck a railway station in Urumqi, the capital of China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, as President Xi Jinping wrapped up his first ever visit to the troubled region during which he vowed to fight terrorism.

The explosion took place this evening at the exit of the south railway station of Urumqi. Ambulances and police cars rushed to the scene, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The blast came just as President Xi was wrapping up a tour of insurgency-hit Xinjiang province in which he spoke of plans to get tough on fighting terrorism.

People in the square in front of the railway station and nearby areas had been evacuated, it said, adding that police also evacuated people in surrounding areas.

Scores of people have been injured, reports said.
Police have cordoned off all entrances to the square of the station. Armed police have been deployed in the square. Train services had been suspended at the station, it said.

Resource rich Xinjiang has witnessed a spurt in attacks by Islamic militants in recent years as province experienced ethnic tensions between native Uygur Muslims and Han Chinese settlers from other provinces.

Xi visited an armed police team in Kashgar, the border town close to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, on Sunday where he acknowledged the complicated situation and the hardship the soldiers have endured.

Kashgar bore the brunt of attacks of Islamic militants as the security situation became tenuous with increasing tensions between Uygurs and Han settlers.

Thirty three people were killed 143 injured in knife attacks by a group of militants on passengers at Kunming Railway station on March 1.