It was a scene of terror at a railway station in the Chinese city of Urumqi last night. At least two bombs—believed to be inside some luggage—went off in the Xinjiang region's capital while a large group of knife-wielding attackers swarmed. "Some people were chopping others with their knives, and then came the sound of the explosion, which was deafening," a witness told the South China Morning Post. Three were killed, including two suspected attackers, and 79 were injured. "At the moment, it is acknowledged to be a terrorist attack. What is yet to be found out is who did this and for what purpose under whose instigation," Xinhua reports, per the AP.
Analysts tell the New York Times, however, the attack appears to be the work of Uighurs, an ethnic group known for their clashes with Beijing. A Uighur separatist group in Germany says some 100 Uighurs were arrested following the attack. If they were responsible, it "would mark an alarming deviation from previous patterns of Uighur political violence," like attacks on police officers and officials using knives and farm tools, to "more civilian targets and violence on a larger scale," an expert explains. Either way, though, the attack was "a huge loss of face" for China's president, Xi Jinping, who had just finished up a visit to the area in which he beat "the drum of counterterrorism," an expert says. He has since called for "decisive actions ... to resolutely suppress the terrorists' rampant momentum." (Read more China stories.)