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KUNMING ATTACK: Uygur community tries to regain trust after incident

Publication Date : 05-03-2014

 

Three days after a deadly terrorist attack by eight people from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the biggest Uygur community in Kunming, Yunnan province, is trying to recover from the shock.

On Saturday night, a gang led by Abdurehim Kurban killed 29 people and injured 143 at Kunming Railway Station. Four of the attackers were shot dead by police and one was injured. The other three who fled were later arrested, police said.

In Dashuying, which has the biggest community of Uygurs in Kunming, people from different ethnic groups are trying to build trust. Dashuying is the biggest village area within the second ring road of Kunming's city center, and houses there look the same as they were decades ago.

The residential buildings, all shorter than 10 metres, stand close together in the community of 30,000 people.

Fang Quan, who is in charge of the administration of the community, said most residents are from other cities or regions.

"You can find at least 10 ethnic groups in Dashuying," he said.

According to official figures, 145 Uygurs live in the community.

Businesses in Dashuying have suffered since the terrorist attack. A local hairdresser surnamed Tang said fewer than 10 people came to his shop on March 2, which - according to the lunar calendar - is the best day for a hair cut.

"We usually serve more than 50 people on that day," he said.

Kamiljon, 30, who has sold barbecued lamb in Dashuying for more than five years, decided to close his business temporarily after the attack because many of his patrons won't come to the area.

"I really felt very sorry about the attack. But those terrorists are not representative of us or our beliefs."

Yasen Kasmu, who lives in Yining, Xinjiang, traveled to Kunming with his wife on Saturday night for a vacation, but they couldn't find a hotel with vacancies that night.

"We tried some small hotels but were told that there were no rooms left. I guess they just didn't want to accommodate us," he said.

They ended up spending the night at his friend's house. The next morning, Kasmu found out about the terrorist attack.

"I was so astonished. I felt ashamed for the terrorists, but trust me, they don't stand for the rest of us," he said.

Li Yingqing in Kunming contributed to this story.

 

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