China blames separatists for knife attack; 33 dead

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Associated Press

Posted on March 2, 2014 at 1:02 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 2 at 3:02 PM

KUNMING, China (AP) — China's state media says more than 10 assailants slashed scores of people with knives at a train station in the southern part of the country, drawing police fire, in what authorities are calling a terrorist assault by ethnic separatists based in the far west.

Thirty-three people were killed and 130 wounded.

The official Xinhua (shihn-wah) News Agency says police fatally shot four of the assailants , arrested one and are searching for the others following the attack late Saturday at the Kunming train station in Yunnan province.

Witnesses describe attackers dressed in black storming the train station and attacking people indiscriminately.

The attackers' identities were not yet confirmed, but Xinhua quotes the municipal government as saying evidence at the scene shows that it was "a terrorist attack carried out by Xinjiang (shihn-jahng) separatist forces." Authorities consider it to be "an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack."

The far western region of Xinjiang is home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule by separatists among parts of the Muslim Uighur (WEE'-gur) population.

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