Karzai condemns terror attack in China
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Hamid Karzai on Thursday strongly condemned a terrorist attack that killed and wounded several people in China’s restive Xinjiang region.
China’s news agency Xinhua reported that two off-road vehicles drove into people at the market in the regional capital Urumqi, with one of them exploding -- the latest incident in the far western region.
Karzai, who attended a two-day summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Shanghai on Wednesday, expressed his deep condolences to the people and the government of China.
A statement issued from his office quoted the president as saying: “Carrying out such attacks is the handiwork of the enemies of peace and stability in the region.”
The vast, resource-rich region has seen periodic violence which has increased and sometimes spread beyond Urumqi in recent months. Beijing says it faces terrorism from a separatist movement there, driven by religious extremism and foreign groups.
On April 30, the final day of a visit by President Xi Jinping to the region, assailants armed with knives and explosives attacked a railway station, killing one person and wounding 79. Two attackers also died.
In March, attackers went on a stabbing spree at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming, killing 29 people and wounding 143 in an incident dubbed as “China’s 9/11” by state media. Four of the assailants were shot dead by police.
In 2009 ethnic riots erupted in Urumqi between Uighurs and the country's majority Han Chinese, leaving 200 people dead and prompting a security crackdown.
China has dramatically increased the number of armed patrols on its streets in response to the spate of violent incidents.
Thursday's blasts came a day after state media reported that courts in Xinjiang jailed 39 people for offences including spreading “terrorist videos”.
Rights groups say the tensions in Xinjiang are driven by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and immigration by majority Han Chinese which have led to decades of discrimination and economic inequality.
President Karzai said the Afghans could better feel than others the pain of Urumqi residents because they were a daily victim of such organised terrorist attacks.
He sympathised with the bereaved families and extended them his heart-felt condolences and prayed for early recovery of those injured in the blasts.
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