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Pain lingers after Xinjiang terrorist attack

By Cui Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-05 08:30

Authorities blame religious extremism and call for tighter security, reports Cui Jia in Lukqun township, Turpan

Public services have returned to normal a week after a police station in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region was attacked by terrorists on June 26.

Pain lingers after Xinjiang terrorist attack

Adalathan Yiminiaz (right), a resident of Lukqun township, Turpan, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, recalls how her husband Memetjon Nimar was killed by terrorists on June 26. Zhen Shixin / for China Daily

But blackened bloodstains on the wall of the building remind people in Lukqun township, Turpan prefecture, of the nightmare they experienced.

The attack by a 16-member gang resulted in 35 deaths - two police officers, two assistant officers, 20 residents and 11 gang members.

Pain lingers after Xinjiang terrorist attack

It was the second-deadliest attack the region has witnessed. A riot that broke out in the regional capital, Urumqi, on July 5, 2009, killed 197 people.

Sixteen of the victims in the latest attack were Uygurs, according to police, who said the gang members had been brainwashed by religious extremists.

The region has been in the front line of the battle against separatists, extremists and terrorists. The authorities have intensified anti-terrorist efforts since April after a number of disturbances in regional centers such as Kashgar, Hotan and Turpan, according to Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang. The central government is determined to curb the attacks, which have two things in common: brutality and indiscriminate killings of innocent people.

When the violence broke out, Li Changqing, the head of Lukqun police station, was asleep on the second floor of the station, while four unarmed officers were on duty on the ground floor.

"Around 5:50 am, I heard a loud noise in the hallway and someone tried to open the door of my room. When I opened the door, I saw seven or eight masked men waving long knives and attacking every officer they could see," said Li, 37, from his hospital bed, where he is receiving treatment for deep lacerations to his back.

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