China police shoot man dead at train station

policeChinese police on Wednesday shot dead a Uighur man who allegedly attacked several people at a train station with a concrete brick, officials said, in the country’s latest deadly station incident.

Officers in the northern Chinese city of Xian opened fire on the man after he attacked “people buying tickets,” the city’s rail police said in a social media post, adding he later died of injuries.

The brief post identified the man as a member of China’s mostly-Muslim Uighur minority whose homeland is the northwest region of Xinjiang, but provided no further details.

No details were given on whether any of the people attacked with the brick had received serious injuries.

Blurred pictures posted by state-broadcaster CCTV showed a person lying on the ground surrounded by more than a dozen police, some holding sticks.

Ordinary police in major Chinese cities began patrolling with guns for the first time last year, in response to a mass train station knifing which killed 31 and was blamed on separatists from Xinjiang.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, said in a statement that the killing in Xian showed the “classic hostile attitude of Chinese security forces”.

Local police refused to comment when contacted by AFP.

In March, police in the southern city of Guangzhou killed a man suspected of carrying out a knife attack at a train station which left nine people wounded, state-media said at the time.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper cited locals as saying police had shot dead two Uighur women in Guangzhou just hours before that attack in March.

Gun violence is rare in China, where the ownership of firearms is tightly controlled.

Local police were accused of using excessive force last month after officers shot dead 45-year Xu Chunhe at a train station in the northwestern city of Qingan.

After calls to release surveillance footage of the man’s killing, state-media released an edited video showing Xu brawling with an officer.

Rights groups believe Beijing’s repression of the Uighurs’ culture and religion has fanned tensions in Xinjiang, a resource-rich region that abuts central Asia.

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