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Assailants in Xinjiang blast identified says Chinese media

By Zoe Li, CNN
updated 5:27 AM EDT, Fri May 2, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese media blame two religious extremists for Xinjiang blast and stabbings
  • The explosion happened at an exit to a train station in Urumqi in China's restive northwest
  • There have been tensions between Uyghurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang

(CNN) -- Chinese state media is proclaiming the Xinjiang bomb blast "case closed" after authorities claimed to have identified the suspected assailants.

Two "religious extremists" have been pinpointed as the alleged assailants behind the bombing and knife attacks that took place at Urumqi South Railway Station on Wednesday, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.

Both suspects were killed in the incident. One of them has been identified as Sedirdin Sawut, a 39-year-old man from Aksu in southern Xinjiang.

Xinhua, quoting police, also said "knife-wielding mobs" attacked people at one of the station's exits following the blast. One innocent bystander was also killed in the blast and 79 were injured. Xinhua says some of the injured victims have been released from hospital.

Tensions in western China
China's ethnic tensions

Police evacuated people from the square in front of the station, deployed armed officers and cordoned off entrances to the station, where train services had been suspended.

The station reopened about two hours later with passengers re-entering under a heavily-armed police presence.

The attacks took place on Wednesday evening, coinciding with the end of a four-day tour of the Xinjiang region by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

After the blast, President Xi urged "decisive actions" against violent terrorist attacks.

The fight against separatist violence in the autonomous region in the northwest of the country was a focus of the Chinese leader's visit.

Frequent outbreaks of violence have beset the resource-rich region, where the arrival of waves of Han Chinese people over the past few decades has fueled tensions with the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group.

In March a violent terror attack took place at a train station Kunming in Yunnan province when ten men armed with knives killed 29 commuters.

READ: 3 killed, 79 hurt in blast, knife attack at China train station

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