Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

China leaders were nearby during apparent Tiananmen Square attack

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping and six other top officials reportedly were at Tiananmen Square on Monday when a vehicle crashed and exploded nearby, leaving five dead.

Although there is no indication that the physical safety of the leaders, who were attending meetings inside the Great Hall of the People, was jeopardized, the apparent suicide attack so close to the epicenter of power rattled the Chinese government and has raised doubts about the effectiveness of its security apparatus.

The three occupants of the car, suspected of being members of the Uighur ethnic minority, were killed along with two tourists, one a Filipina and the other a Chinese man. Thirty-eight people were injured.

"It is clear that China does not have a counterterrorism capability. Their capabilities are very rudimentary, and they need to develop them," said Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism expert who has written widely on separatism by Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs. He attributed the attack to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a shadowy group based in northwestern China's Xinjiang region, an area known for resistance to Beijing's hard-line policies.

Witnesses said that police were unable to stop the car, which traveled nearly 500 yards from an intersection before exploding.

Besides Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and the five other members of the Politburo Standing Committee — the innermost circle — were in the Great Hall of the People, on the west side of the square, about 200 yards away. In the morning, they were attending a meeting with the China Women's Federation and in the afternoon, a South African government delegation.

"The incident happened at Tiananmen Square while an important government conference was taking place. The suddenness of the incident alarmed the central government," wrote a commentator on Duowei, an overseas Chinese news service with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. The report said the investigation was assigned at the highest level.

A police vehicle is parked near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday, a day after an apparent suicide attack killed five.

European Pressphoto Agency

A police vehicle is parked near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Tuesday, a day after an apparent suicide attack killed five.

China leaders were nearby during apparent Tiananmen Square attack 10/29/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off

    Nba

    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  2. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Charles Bradley, acclaimed Florida soul singer, dies at 68

    Blogs

    Acclaimed Florida R&B powerhouse Charles Bradley, whose raw, pained voice earned him the nickname the Screaming Eagle of Soul, has died of cancer at 68, his representatives announced Saturday.

    Charles Bradley performed at the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival.
  5. Kriseman and Baker cash race continues as campaigns officially reset

    Blogs

    The mayoral campaign, mostly operating in stealth mode during the two weeks of Hurricane Irma's build-up, arrival and recovery, has entered its stretch run, a compressed schedule of ten days before ballots are mailed to tens of thousands of voters in the Sunshine City.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker are emerging from Hurricane Irma mode and getting back into campaign form