Five suspects were among the 31 people killed in a terrorist bombing in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern region, Xinjiang, state-run media reported Friday.
The official China Daily newspaper said “it was confirmed” that the attack Thursday morning was plotted by the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, a separatist group that Chinese authorities have blamed for a string of violent episodes in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China in recent months.
More than 90 people were injured in the blast, which rocked a morning market.
No public claim of responsibility for the incident has been made, but the newspaper said the timing, a day after the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia concluded in Shanghai, “suggests the organizers of the attack may have intended to send a provocative message not only to the Chinese government but also to the regional security forum.”
An opinion piece carried by the official Xinhua News Agency said the bomb attack in Urumqi “once again reveals the brutal and inhuman nature of terrorists and the urgency to eradicate this 'social cancer.'"
Numerous foreign governments and the United Nations condemned the attack.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the incident “a despicable and outrageous act of violence against innocent civilians, and the United States resolutely opposes all forms of terrorism. We offer our condolences and sympathies to the victims, their families, and all those affected by this attack.”
China Daily reported Friday that security was being tightened in the capital, with five helicopters patrolling the skies and armed patrols covering 14 beats including the Beijing railway station and the popular shopping street of Wangfujing near Tiananmen Square.