Police are the "fists and daggers" in the fight against terrorism, China's President Xi Jinping said on a trip to the western Xinjiang region where authorities say members of a Muslim minority are waging a violent separatist campaign. As Reuters reports, this is the same region that sufferred the knife-wielding terrorist attack in the city of Kunming that killed 29 people and injured 140. However, his warning seems to have sparked further action - though not confirmed as a terrorist attack - as a blast occurred at a railway station in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang region. Details about the blast and casualties are sketchy but local reports suggest up to 50 injured.
"The Kashgar region is the front line in anti-terrorism and maintaining social stability," the official Xinhua news agency citied Xi as telling paramilitary police in the Silk Road city of Kashgar in western Xinjiang that has been at the center of much of the unrest.
"The situation is grim and complicated. The local level police stations are fists and daggers," Xi said.
The report, carried widely in state media, showed photographs of Xi touring police facilities.
"You must have the most effective means to deal with violent terrorists," Xi said at a police station where he was pictured inspecting a wall of various kinds of truncheons.
"Sweat more in peacetime to bleed less in wartime," he said.
And this happens:
As Bloomberg reports, an explosion occurred at about 7 p.m. today near the south railway station in Urumqi, the capital of western China’s Xinjiang region, prompting police to evacuate people nearby, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Ambulances and police cars were sent to the scene, the official news agency said, citing unidentified government officials. Xinhua said it didn’t yet have details about the blast or possible casualties.
Train services have been suspended at the station, Xinhua said, citing a policeman on the scene. Police have cordoned off all entrances to the station square and armed officers have been deployed, it said.
President Xi Jinping vowed to deploy a “strike-first” strategy against terrorism in Xinjiang, Xinhua reported earlier today, citing Xi’s comments during a trip to the region from April 27 to today.
- *POLICE EVACUATING AREA NEAR URUMQI TRAIN STATION: XINHUA
- *TRAIN SERVICE SUSPENDED IN URUMQI AFTER EXPLOSION: XINHUA
Latest pictures revealed on Xinjiang Urumqi Railway Station blast (source: weibo) pic.twitter.com/s5DAOjvx6v
— Phoenix TV News UK (@PhoenixUKNews) April 30, 2014
— zheng (@spiv01) April 30, 2014
— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) April 30, 2014
— zheng yunshen (@zheng) April 30, 2014