Knife Attack Leaves Dozens Dead at China Railway Station

By Alex Shi
BU News Service

At least 33 people were killed and 130 injured in a railway station attack in the southwest Chinese city Kunming, according to the state run news agency Xinhua.

At 9 p.m. Saturday Beijing time, 10 people armed with knives attacked civilians at the railway station in the capital city of the Yunnan province, authorities said.

At least four suspects were killed on scene and police continued searching for the others, authorities reported.

The Kunming government is calling the incident a terrorist attack and have determined that it was organized by a separatist group from Xinjiang, in northwest China.

Yingrui Chen, a Boston University alumnus who lives in Boston, contacted her family immediately after she heard the news. They are all safe at home. However, the attack is shocking to her.

“Kunming is one of the most comfortable cities to live in,” said Chen, “You wouldn’t connect Kunming with any bad things and this is going to change it.”

“People think of Lijiang, Dali or the International Horticulture Exposition in 1989, but now it’s going to be fear,” said Chen.

Lijiang and Dali are both very popular tourist destinations in the area.

Boston University sophomore, Tiancheng Wang, said the attack puzzled him. While his family is safe, he is infuriated by the news.

“I’m having a hard time understanding why they picked Kunming,” said Wang. “It’s a safe city. I thought it was a rumor when I first read it on Weibo.”

Weibo is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

“I’m just furious that they are targeting civilians in the railway station,” said Wang. “Many of those people are probably waiting for the train to go back to their family.”

The attack has set off a huge discussion on Weibo. Users are passing on wishes and blessings for the wounded, while also expressing their anger over the cruelty of the attack.

Weibo user @erbiwaxili  wrote: “No matter how noble your motive is or how miserable your life is, when you resort to hurting innocent civilians for that, you are the enemy of the entire human being, a coward and a criminal that everyone condemns.”

Kunming is nicknamed, Chun Cheng, the City of the Spring because it is a popular tourist spot with the mildest climate in China.

The railway that was attacked connects many major routes, reaching out to the many regions of Southeast Asia.