The two people who carried out Wednesday's terrorist attack in a railway station in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, had been involved in religious extremism for a long time, police said on Thursday.
A police investigation showed that Sedierding Shawuti, 39, from Shaya county of southern Xinjiang's Aksu prefecture and another attacker were influenced by religious extremism. They stabbed people at the South Railway Station exit with knives and set off explosives about 7:10 pm after a train arrived at one of the platforms on Wednesday, the information office of the region said on Thursday evening.
Both attackers were killed in the blast and a civilian was also killed at the scene. The attack and explosion, which happened on the day President Xi Jinping Xi calls for 'decisive action' in Xinjiangconcluded his visit to the region, also left 79 injured, including four in serious but not life-threatening condition. Some of the injured have been discharged from the hospital.
The local government called it a terrorist attack. It is just one of a series in the region in recent years.
Xi demanded "decisive actions" be taken after the attack. He said that the battle to combat violence and terrorism cannot allow even a moment of slackness, and decisive action must be taken to suppress the terrorists' momentum, according to Xinhua News Agency.
He noted that the anti-separatism battle in Xinjiang is long-term and complicated.
Authorities need to carefully identify and fix the security loopholes to safeguard social stability, Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang, said after the attack according to Xinjiang TV.
"I don't think it is a coincidence that the attack happened so close to Xi's visit, which further exposed the terrorists' anti-social nature," said Abudulrekep Tumniyaz, deputy director of Xinjiang Islamic Association, one of the religious leaders who met with Xi on Wednesday morning. "Just like Xi said, those people (terrorists) need to be severely punished,"he said.
Xi said he hopes religious leaders like Abudulrekep could help people stay away from extremism.
During his four-day visit to Xinjiang, Xi said the long-term stability of Xinjiang is vital to the country's development, unity and national security. He also watched an anti-terrorism drill in Urumqi by the army based in the region and said the armed forces should leave no living space for terrorists.
All services at the station, including the new express train connecting four cities in the region that was launched on Thursday morning, have been running as scheduled.
Entrances and exits at the station are being guarded by armed police.
On March 1, knife-wielding terrorists killed 29 people and injured another 143 at a railway station in Kunming, capital of southeast China's Yunnan province in March. Evidence linked the attack to separatists from Xinjiang.