Beijing, March 3: Chinese police Monday said three suspects involved in the terrorist attack at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming have been captured even as the country’s leaders mourned the victims who lost their lives.
The ministry of public security said in a statement that a terrorist gang of eight members led by Abdurehim Kurban was responsible for the attack, Xinhua reported.
Police shot and killed four of them and captured an injured female at the scene Saturday night, the statement said.
The knife-wielding attackers slashed frantically at people at a train station in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province Saturday, killing 29 people and injuring 143.
Meanwhile, Chinese leaders and political advisors Monday paid silent tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack at the opening of the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
“The violent terrorist attack in Kunming March 1 has caused great losses to people’s lives and property,” Xinhua quoted Du Qinglin, vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, as saying.
Du condemned the terrorists behind the attack and conveyed condolences to the families of the victims.
“The CPPCC supports the law enforcement departments to crack down on all violent, terrorist and criminal activities in accordance with law,” he said.
In another development, a government spokesman said that police have found flags of “East Turkistan” forces at the site of the attack.
“Some flags of the ‘East Turkistan’ forces were discovered at the site, according to the initial findings of the police. Investigation of the terrorist attack is still under way,” Xinhua quoted foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying at a daily news briefing.
The “East Turkistan” forces, among which the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a major group, are one of the major and direct reasons for increasing terrorist attacks in China, particularly in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The ETIM, listed by the UN Security Council as a terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the Tian’anmen attack in October in which five people were killed and 40 others injured.
Qin stressed that the Chinese government would launch a tough crackdown on the terrorists, whoever and wherever they are, whatever affiliation they may have, and whenever the attacks happen.
The terrorists, positioning themselves in opposition to any ethnic groups or religions, are a common enemy to mankind, Qin said.
When asked to comment on some foreign governments that failed to call the Saturday violence a terrorist attack, Qin expressed his hope that the international community could be unanimous in voice and action when dealing with terrorists.
Foreign governments and international organisations have expressed condemnation and indignation over the terrorist attack and sent their sympathies to the Chinese government and people, the families of the victims and the injured in particular, Qin said.
“This represents the mainstream of the international community, the voice and conscience of mankind,” Qin added.
According to a late night report, the National Health and Family Planning Commission said Monday that 20 of the 143 patients injured in the attack are still in critical condition.
The commission said 104 emergency operations have been performed and they have dispatched another five doctors to help treat the victims.
The five are skilled experts in dentofacial surgery, hand surgery, chest surgery and urinary tract surgery, putting the total number of specialists dispatched to Kunming at 29.