03/04/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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Beijing arrests three suspects in Kunming massacre

The police have also identified the leader of the group behind the attack: he is Kurban Abdurehim, but there is no news of his condition. Chinese authorities continue to follow the trail of Xinjiang separatists, but a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress calls for a "more transparent investigation".

Kunming ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese police have identified a man, Abdurehim Kurban, as the mastermind behind the massacre that took place on 1 March in the Kunming railway station, and has also arrested three suspects. The move was reported today to Xinhua, the official government agency, citing the Ministry of Public Security. Eight people - including two women - were responsible for the attack, which resulted in 29 deaths and more than 130 injured. Four suspects were killed on the spot by police and one woman was injured and captured. The Ministry has not clarified whether Kurban is among those arrested or who dies at the scene.

Meanwhile, Beijing continues to insist that the Kunming attack was "a terrorist attack organized by Xinjiang separatists".  Xinjiang is the autonomous northern region that is home to the ethnic Uyghur, Turkic speaking Muslims. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that the flags of the separatist forces of East Turkistan (the independent region that the Uyghurs want to create - ed) were found at the scene yesterday.

Yesterday, at the opening of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) about 2 thousand delegates observed a minute of silence for the victims. There were only two other occasions in which the CPPCC stopped to commemorate something: in 1949 for the martyrs of the Revolution and in 1997 on the death of Deng Xiaoping.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress , asked the Chinese government to be "more transparent" in its investigation and not to use it "as an excuse to crack down on the Uyghur people".

 

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