BEIJING: Six people were wounded in a knife attack at a Chinese train station on Tuesday, after a series of violent episodes at transport hubs authorities blame on “terrorists” from the restive region of Xinjiang.
Chinese media reports said there were as many as four attackers in white caps—often donned by Muslims—at the station in the southern city of Guangzhou.
But police said later that there was only one and did not offer any details on attire.
The suspect was shot and taken to a hospital, Guangzhou police said on their official account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter.
Police also said there were no foreigners among the victims, all of whom were hospitalized. The official Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday that the injured were all out of danger.
The incident comes less than a week after a stabbing spree and explosion at the opposite end of the country left two attackers and a civilian dead, and 79 people wounded, at a railway station in Urumqi.
The city is the capital of Xinjiang, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
Last week’s blast came as President Xi Jinping was wrapping up an “inspection tour” of the volatile region, during which he called for a “strike-first” strategy to fight terrorism.
“The battle to combat violence and terrorism will not allow even a moment of slackness, and decisive actions must be taken to resolutely suppress the terrorists’ rampant momentum,” Xi said in comments published last week by Xinhua.
Tuesday’s incident also follows a March attack at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming. Machete-wielding attackers killed 29 people there and wounded 143 in what many in China have dubbed the country’s “9/11.”
Authorities blamed both the Kunming and Urumqi incidents on militants from Xinjiang whom they say are linked to overseas extremist networks.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to speculate on who was responsible for the Guangzhou attack.
“Whoever carried out this violent action and for whatever reason, they will be brought into justice because these are criminal acts,” she said.
“China’s government will take strong action to safeguard the life and property of Chinese people,” she added.
Rohan Gunaratna, professor of security studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, told Agence France-Presse: “The scale of violence in Xinjiang has steadfastly increased and now it is spilling over to other parts of China.
“China faces now a very significant and a really sustained threat from terrorism,” he added.