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Crackdown after China killings may backfire: experts

Published on Mar 2, 2014 7:38 PM
Chinese policemen patrol a street near the railway station in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan province on March 2, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing is vowing to strike back against an unprecedented mass killing of civilians by alleged Xinjiang militants far outside their homeland, but analysts say that may merely speed up the cycle of repression and violent reprisal.

A black-clad gang killed at least 29 people and injured more than 130 in a stabbing spree at Kunming rail station in the southwestern province of Yunnan late on Saturday.

China's top security official was quickly dispatched and urged "forcible measures to crack down on violent terrorism activities", the official Xinhua news agency said, as the public shared horror and anger at photos of bloodied bodies scattered across the floor.

Although knife and bomb attacks occur periodically in Xinjiang, where China's mostly Muslim Uighur minority is concentrated, they have rarely captured the same attention as this first large-scale killing outside the remote region.

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