Police shoot dead Uighur man in train station attack

BEIJING - Chinese police on Wednesday shot dead a Uighur man who allegedly attacked several people at a train station with a concrete brick, officials said, in the country's latest deadly station incident.

Officers in the northern Chinese city of Xian fired on the man after he attacked people who were buying tickets, the city's rail police said in a social media post, adding that the man later died.

The brief post identified the man as a member of China's mostly Muslim Uighur minority whose homeland is the north-west region of Xinjiang, but provided no further details.

It was also not clear if any of the people attacked with the brick were seriously injured. Blurred pictures posted by state-broadcaster CCTV showed a person lying on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen police officers, some holding sticks.

Police in major Chinese cities began patrolling with guns for the first time last year, in response to a mass train station knifing which left 31 dead and was blamed on separatists from Xinjiang. Spokesman for the exiled World Uighur Congress Dilxat Raxit said in a statement that the killing in Xian showed the "classic hostile attitude of Chinese security forces".

Police refused to comment when contacted by Agence France-Presse.

In March, police in the southern city of Guangzhou killed a man suspected of carrying out a knife attack at a train station which left nine people wounded, state media said.

Gun violence is rare in China, where the ownership of firearms is tightly controlled. Rights groups believe Beijing's repression of the Uighurs' culture and religion has fanned tensions in Xinjiang.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Police shoot dead Uighur man in train station attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe