Deadly China rail station stabbings a "terrorist attack"
Passengers prepare to board a train at a railway station in Beijing on January 23, 2014 - by Wang Zhao
Victims described knife-wielding attackers dressed in black bursting into Kunming railway station and slashing indiscriminately.
Beijing's top security official was reported to be heading to the scene.
The incident "was an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack" carried out by "unidentified knife-wielding people", the official news agency Xinhua said, citing authorities.
Police shot dead a number of the perpetrators at the train station in southwestern Yunnan province, according to posts by local television station K6 on its official Sina Weibo account, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Officers sealed off a wide area around the station, it added, while Xinhua said they were still questioning people at the site.
Meanwhile ambulances had delivered the injured to hospitals around the city, K6 reported.
The attackers carried knives and were dressed in similar black clothing, the official China News Service said, citing eyewitnesses.
"A group of men carrying weapons burst into the train station plaza and the ticket hall, stabbing whoever they saw," it said.
Photos posted on Sina Weibo showed blood spattered across the floor and medical staff crouching over bodies lying on the ground, although the authenticity of the images could not be verified.
Crowds gathered outside the station among police officers and ambulances, the images also showed.
State broadcaster CCTV also called the incident a "terrorist attack" on its Weibo account.
China's top security official Meng Jianzhu would travel to Kunming, it said, while President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang sent condolences to the victims and their families.
Yunnan has no history of violent attacks, and the motive for the stabbings was not immediately clear.
MORE REGIONAL NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
President Barack Obama on Friday met with three Central American leaders to try to get control of an humanitarian crisis triggered by a tide... More President Barack Obama on Friday met with three Central American leaders to try to get control of an humanitarian crisis triggered by a tide of child migrants crossing the southern US border. Duration: 00:53
Date 8 hrs ago, Duration 0:52, Views 72