BEIJING - China's mainly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority will be the "biggest victims" of Monday's Tiananmen Square attack, which has been dubbed terrorism by the authorities, state media said Thursday.
Three members of the same family were in a sport utility vehicle that crashed and burst into flames at the symbolic heart of the Chinese state, killing the occupants as well as two tourists. Police have said five suspects have been arrested.
Police had refrained from stating the attackers' ethnicity but the Global Times, which is close to the ruling Communist party, said: "The violent terrorists involved in the Square incident are all Uighurs."
"Their cruelty in aiming their jeep at innocent lives will never be forgiven."
The paper, which often strikes a nationalist tone, called for a "united front against terrorism", and in an editorial said: "Violent terrorists are the common enemies of all China."
"People from Xinjiang, especially the Uighurs, will be the biggest victims," it added.
Overseas Uighur activists have already voiced concern that Beijing's response to the incident may lead to a "fierce state crackdown" on the ethnic group.
Xinjiang, home to the Uighur minority, regularly sees incidents of unrest, and inter-ethnic rioting in the capital Urumqi killed around 200 people in 2009.