2010 Aksu bombing

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2010 Aksu bombing
Part of Xinjiang conflict
Location of Aksu within Xinjiang (China).png
LocationAksu, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China
Date19 August 2010
10:30 – (UTC+3)
TargetSecurity personnel
Attack type
Bomb
Deaths7+
Injured14+
2010 Aksu bombing
Traditional Chinese2010阿克蘇爆炸襲擊事件
Simplified Chinese2010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 an 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 six people were involved in the attack, and two 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] 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]

Investigation[edit]

Chinese police stated that it was an intentional act, and that a suspect was detained at the scene after incurring injuries himself.[11] The four detained suspects were part of a "violent gang of six people" according to Xinjiang government spokesperson Hou Hanmin.[12]

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.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rabinovitch, Simon (25 August 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 10 May 2013. 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. 人民网 (People's Daily) (in Chinese). 19 August 2010. 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". The 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 August 2010). "Seven killed in Chinese explosion". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 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. ^ "7 die in tricycle bomb attack in China". CNN. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "More Arrests in Aksu Blast". Radio Free Asia. 23 August 2010. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.