2010 Aksu bombing

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2010 Aksu bombing
Part of Xinjiang conflict
Location of Aksu within Xinjiang (China).png
Location Aksu, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China
Date 19 August 2010
10:30 – (UTC+3)
Target Security personnel
Attack type
Bomb
Deaths 7+
Non-fatal injuries
14+
Suspected perpetrators
6 Uyghur lone wolves
2010 Aksu bombing
Traditional Chinese 2010阿克蘇爆炸襲擊事件
Simplified Chinese 2010阿克苏爆炸袭击事件

The 2010 Aksu bombing was a bombing in Aksu, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China that resulted in at least seven deaths and fourteen injuries when a Uyghur man detonated explosives in a crowd of police and paramilitary guards[1] at about 10:30 on 19 August,[2] using a three-wheeled vehicle.[3] The assailant targeted police officers in the area,[4] and most of the victims were also Uyghurs. Xinhua news agency reported that 6 people were involved in the attack, and 2 had died; the other four were detained by police.[1]

Background[edit]

A number of violent incidents have occurred in Xinjiang since the 1990s.[5] In the year before the attack, Xinjiang had ethnic tensions that continued to trouble the region. Before the 2010 Aksu blast, Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri was quoted as saying Xinjiang faces a "long and fierce and very complicated struggle" because "Separatism in Xinjiang has a very long history, it was there in the past, it is still here now and it will continue in the future."[6]

In July 2009, riots in Ürümqi resulted in the deaths of numerous Han Chinese and Uyghurs. There was another spate of attacks in the region a few months later.

Attack[edit]

The site of the explosion, Aksu (Uyghur: ئاقسۇ‎; Chinese: 阿克苏), is about 650 km (400 mi) west of Urumqi, and is just 60 km (37 mi) from the border with Kyrgyzstan.[7] The bomb exploded at the T-intersection of Kalata Road (Uyghur: قالاتا يولى‎; Chinese: 喀拉塔路) and Wuka Road (Uyghur: ئۇكا يولى‎; Chinese: 乌喀路).[5] According to a report by the Associated Press, two attackers drove a three-wheeled motorbike into a crowd and threw explosives from it.[8] According to reports the attack was carried out by a man, who was arrested on the spot and whom Xinjiang government spokeswoman Hou Hanmin stated is Uyghur,[9] and a woman who died during the attack.[8][10]

Most of those killed in the blast were local security officers. Five victims died on the spot, and two died at the hospital;[5] of the seven, at least five were police officers.[10] An anonymous Radio Free Asia source claims that officers in the targeted police station had commonly booked Uyghurs with beards or traditional head coverings and brought them to the police station for political education.[10] However, according to The Epoch Times, most of the people injured in the blast were common folk.[11] The ethnicity of the victims was not discussed at the news conference of Aksu prefecture,[5] but Hou told reporters that "most of the victims are U[y]ghurs."[9]

At the time of the conference the incident was not classified as a terrorist attack.[9] An early Epoch Times report claimed that the city was put under lockdown after the attack and that the armed police, special police, and armored cars patrolled the streets,[12] although Hou denied this later.[13]

Investigation[edit]

Chinese police stated that it was an intentional act, and that a suspect was detained at the scene after incurring injuries himself.[14] The four detained suspects were part of a "violent gang of six people" according to Xinjiang government spokesperson Hou Hanmin.[15]

Internet censorship[edit]

According to one netizen interviewed by Radio Free Asia, mention of the bombing on internet boards, including postings containing the official version of events, have been speedily deleted from the internet in China.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rabinovitch, Simon (25 Aug 2010). "China detains four over attack on Xinjiang police". Reuters. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010. 
  2. ^ Barboza, David (19 August 2010). "Blast Kills 7 in Restive Chinese Region". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Several dead in China explosion". Al-Jazeera. 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Chang, Anita (20 August 2010). "Official: Attack in western China targeted police". Businessweek. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d 新疆阿克苏召开新闻发布会公布爆炸袭击案 (in Chinese). 人民网 (People's Daily). 2010-08-19. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  6. ^ Bristow, Michael (19 August 2010). "Blast kills seven in China's Xinjiang". BBC News. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Barnes, Taylor (19 August 2010). "China blast kills seven in restive Xinjiang; Uighur suspected". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Chang, Anita (20 August 2010). "Official: Attack in western China targeted police". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Foster, Peter (19 Aug 2010). "Seven killed in Chinese explosion". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 19 Aug 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c "Slain Patrolmen 'Checked' Uyghurs". Radio Free Asia. 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  11. ^ "新疆三轮车爆炸 7人死14人伤 (Xinjiang three-wheeled bike bomb: 7 dead, 14 injured)". The Epoch Times (in Chinese). 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 当时,新疆政府发言人说,受伤的大多是当地百姓,伤员中有轻伤有重伤。 (At the time, a Xinjiang government spokesperson said most of the people injured were local common people, and that among them there were both light injuries and serious injuries.) 
  12. ^ "新疆三轮车爆炸 7人死14人伤 (Xinjiang three-wheeled bike bomb: 7 dead, 14 injured)". The Epoch Times (in Chinese). 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 另据人权民运信息中心说,爆炸后全市戒严,街上有大批武警特警,同时有装甲车。 (According to another report from the center for information on rights and movement, after the attack the entire city was put under restriction, and on the streets were many armed police and special police, as well as armored vehicles.) 
  13. ^ "新疆爆炸火灾连轴转 内幕扑朔迷离". The Epoch Times. 21 August 2010. Archived from the original on 21 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 对于爆炸事件,新疆新闻办主任侯汉敏对海外传媒表示,当场被捕。。。现时未能确定事件是否“恐怖袭击”。侯汉敏并否认全市实施戒严。(Regarding the bombing incident, Xinjiang news director Hou Hanmin told foreign reporters that ... at the time it is impossible to be sure whether the incident was a 'terrorist attack' or not. Hou Hanmin also denied that the entire city was under restriction. 
  14. ^ "7 die in tricycle bomb attack in China". CNN. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Police arrest 4 in bombing in restive west China". Associated Press. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "More Arrests in Aksu Blast". Radio Free Asia. 23 August 2010. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.