Knife-Wielding Assailant Wounds 6 in Latest China Attack

BEIJING - A knife-wielding assailant wounded six people on Tuesday in an attack at a railway station in China's southern city of Guangzhou, police and state media said, the latest in a series of assaults to raise jitters around the country.

Police gave no reason for the attack, but China has grown increasingly nervous about Islamic militancy since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October and 29 people were stabbed to death in March in the southwestern city of Kunming.

The government blamed militants from the restive far western region of Xinjiang for both those attacks. Resource-rich and strategically located Xinjiang, on the borders of central Asia, has for years been beset by violence blamed by the Chinese government on Islamist militants.

Image: Knife attack injures six at south China railway station
An injured man calls for help after a knife attack at a railway station in Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong province on May 6. EPA

Just last Wednesday China blamed religious extremists for a bomb and knife attack at a train station in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, that killed one bystander and wounded 79.

The government called the attackers "terrorists,” a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state.

Exiles and rights groups say the real cause of the unrest in Xinjiang is China's heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Muslim Uighur people.

Xinhua news agency said that the attacker in Tuesday's incident had been hospitalized, and that police were not immediately able to identify him as he had no documents on him.

State television said that reports police had picked up another suspect near the station were also wrong, and that a person who had been detained had nothing to do with the case.

- Reuters