Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 08:35
Six hurt in Guangzhou knife attack
By ZHENG CAIXIONG and LI WENFANG in Guangzhou and ZHANG YAN in Beijing

Six hurt in Guangzhou knife attack
Workers clean bloodspots in the plaza at Guangzhou Railway Station, where six people were injured in a knife attack on Tuesday. (ZOU ZHONGPIN / CHINA DAILY)

Six people were injured after being hacked with a knife in Guangzhou on Tuesday in the third attack on civilians at a railway station in just over two months.

Police shot and wounded a man suspected of hacking passengers at about 11:30 am at Guangzhou Railway Station, one of China’s busiest.

There was no immediate word on a motive for the attack in the Guangdong provincial capital.

Witnesses said the suspect was sitting in the station plaza before he took out a knife and allegedly carried out the attack. He was wearing a white cap, they said.

In a statement, police said officers arrived at the scene quickly and shot and subdued the suspect after he failed to respond to a warning. Police said the suspect acted alone.

Photographs online in State media showed police cordoning off the empty plaza, with an ambulance parked nearby and bloodspots on the ground.

The attack took place amid heightened security nationwide following two deadly attacks at train stations blamed on extremists from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

On April 30, three people, including the two attackers, were killed and 79 injured in an explosion in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.

On March 1, 29 people were killed and 143 injured when a group of terrorists used knives to attack passengers at Kunming Railway Station in the capital of Yunnan province.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the government will introduce effective measures to protect lives and property and to maintain social stability.

“No matter what their motives are, those who resort to violence against innocent people will be punished,” Hua said at a regular media briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking on a visit to Hong Kong, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel expressed “horror and outrage” over the Guangzhou attack. “We oppose terrorism in all forms, and in those instances where the available information or the information shared by the Chinese authorities pointed to terrorism by a group or individual, we have condemned it as terrorism,” he said.

Analysts said the recent attacks suggest that even tighter security and tougher measures should be taken.

Hong Daode, a law professor at China’s University of Political Science and Law, said armed police patrols should be enhanced nationwide.

“The key is to improve technical measures, including setting up more surveillance systems to improve intelligence collection. More plainclothes police should be deployed in public places,” he said.

Mei Jianming, a professor at People’s Public Security University of China, the country’s top police academy, said public awareness of terrorist attacks should be increased.

Some officials don’t think that terrorist incidents will happen in their areas, so they don’t pay attention to prevention work, which has given terrorists many opportunities to unleash violence, he said.

A spokesman for the General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, said three of the people wounded in the city underwent surgery and were in stable condition.

Agencies contributed to this story.

Contact the writers at zhengcaixiong@chinadaily.com.cn, liwenfang@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangyan1@chinadaily.com.cn.