New Xinjiang clash details: ethnicity, Qur'an study, surveillance video


Associated Press has new details on the April 23 Kashgar incident. If you read the article, you'll see several new pieces of information: 25 dead as opposed to the prior 21 count, the assailants and arrested suspects are all of Uighur descent, a timeline of the group's activities, and a fuller picture of the violent clash.

The group was led by Kasmu Memet, who began hosting the Koran study sessions in September, according to an account from the Xinjiang police that was posted to official websites. In March, they began manufacturing swords and conducting test explosions in preparation for carrying out a major attack this summer in densely populated areas of Kashgar, the account said.

A surveillance video has now been released of the incident. For those of you who don't understand Mandarin Chinese, here's the rundown of what the video shows. First, there's an interview of a store-owner who witnessed the event and says he saw the assailants use knives. The official explaining the surveillance video points out the individual hacking at the car is trying to get at the gasoline in order to create an explosion. The final surveillance video scene shows a nearby marketplace.

In addition, I missed this interesting article at SCMP that captures commentary from a variety of Chinese local scholars who call for more investigation details and for cadres to do a better job promoting positive aspects of Uyghur identity and downplay stereotypes that equate Uyghur with extremist Islam.