Updated: 03/14/2014 16:44 | By Agence France-Presse

China attacker stabs five to death after market dispute

An attacker in China stabbed five people to death on Friday before being shot dead, authorities said, ruling out terrorism two weeks after 29 people were killed in a mass stabbing blamed on Xinjiang militants that stunned the nation.


China attacker stabs five to death after market dispute

Police inspect the crime scene where attackers armed with knives killed three people in Changsha, central China's Hunan province on March 14, 2014

A vendor in a market fatally attacked another during an argument, then stabbed four bystanders before officers killed him, police in Changsha in the central province of Hunan said on their verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. 

Two of the bystanders died at the scene while the two others succumbed later in hospital, it added.

A Changsha official told AFP by phone: "I can assure you it's not a terror attack. It happened in a market due to some dispute." 

The Hunan Evening News said the vendors came from China's far-west Xinjiang region, home to China's mainly Muslim Uighur minority, but their ethnicity was not confirmed.

It added that two people, including one woman, had been detained, while the official news agency Xinhua reported that a "group of knife-wielding assailants" were involved. 

One victim was an elderly woman in her 80s who had just walked on to the street, a Hunan radio station reported. 

Photos posted on Sina Weibo -- whose authenticity could not be verified -- appeared to show the bloodied bodies of three men on the ground, with armed police and bystanders nearby. Another showed a man being taken away by officers.

The incident came after a group of attackers went on a stabbing spree at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming in Yunnan province on March 1, leaving 29 people dead and 143 injured in what domestic media have dubbed China's "9/11".

Four assailants -- some wearing black with their faces covered -- were shot dead at the scene. One woman was detained on site and three others were arrested separately.

- Periodic unrest -

Authorities condemned the event as terrorism and blamed it on militants from the restive Xinjiang region.

Violent attacks by Uighurs are periodically reported in Xinjiang -- usually targeting police or government officials and labelled by authorities as terrorist attacks -- but they rarely occur outside the remote area.

Beijing says it faces a violent separatist movement driven by religious extremism, but critics accuse it of exaggerating that threat to justify hard-line measures.

Rights groups also accuse the authorities of cultural and religious repression that feeds dissent, while China counters it has invested heavily in economic development in the region, which covers a sixth of the country's territory and is rich in natural resources.

But much of the economic gain has benefited an influx of ethnic majority Han Chinese, and tensions between Han and Uighurs boiled over into riots in 2009 that left around 200 people dead.

In October last year China experienced its first high-profile incident outside Xinjiang pinned on residents of the area -- in Beijing's central Tiananmen Square, the symbolic heart of the Chinese state.

Three family members drove into crowds of tourists and set their car ablaze, killing themselves and two bystanders. Within a day police arrested five suspects, all from Xinjiang.

Information about such events is restricted to reports by authorities and state media, which are often limited in detail and hard to verify independently.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。