The long war continues with proxies in the lead. There were bombings yesterday in Xinjiang as well. The islamists are ambitious but they may be making a big mistake in provoking China. However Chinese Kashmir is much more vulnerable to civilian attacks due to the Chicom policy of settling Hans in Xinjiang (to the point where Muslims have become a minority).
I’m a bit surprised that the explosion that killed dozens of people at an open-air market in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang
province yesterday hasn’t gotten more international notice…..But I suspect it’s also because these incidents are becoming
depressingly commonplace. Today’s explosion follows recent deadly
attacks on train stations in Guangzhou, Urumqi, and Kunming, all of them blamed on Uighur extremists from Xinjiang.
Today’s attack, however, is of another order of magnitude more
serious. With at least 30 dead, it may be China’s most serious terrorist
attack in years, and the use of explosives indicates an escalation in
tactics over the other recent attacks, most of which were mass
stabbings. The mysterious car attack on Tiananmen Square, which took
place while I was in Beijing last October, would have been a substantially more serious event if the perpetrators had used the tactics seen today.
A Xinhua article this month also highlighted the fact
that “Separatists appear to be shifting their focus from symbols of the
government – such as public security stations and police vehicles – to
random, ordinary civilians, and operating in areas outside Xinjiang.”
After the last attack in Urumqi, President Xi Jinping promised a “strike first” strategy
against separatists in Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims have longed
agitated for independence and claimed discrimination by the authorities.
But with attacks expanding in both geographical scope and severity,
it’s becoming increasingly clear that Beijing’s default strategy of
cracking down hard on Xinjiang isn’t working.
Herat province was today attacked by heavily armed gunmen, who were also
carrying rocket-propelled grenades, top Indian officials said, adding
that everyone was safe.
“India’s Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan attacked. Brave ITBP
(Indo-Tibetan Border Police) personnel and Afghan soldiers rebut
attackers. All are safe,” said a spokesperson in the Ministry of
External Affairs in New Delhi.
Three gunmen were killed, one by the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border
Police) and two by the Afghan Police, out of four attackers who struck
the Consulate which houses two buildings, Indian Ambassador to
Afghanistan Amar Sinha said.
In a pre-dawn assault, the gunmen attacked the building which houses the
residence of the Consulate General, Sinha said, adding that there were
nine Indians in the mission apart from local Afghans.
One attacker was killed while climbing the wall to enter the premises of the consulate, Sinha said.
“India-Afghanistan officials (were) in touch on attack on India’s
Consulate in Herat. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh (was) monitoring
(the) situation,” the official said.
Afghan police officials said that three gunmen armed with machine guns
and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the consulate early this
morning from a nearby home. The police killed two of them, though one
continued to fire on security forces.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
India has invested in some major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan
like Salma Hydroelectric Dam in Herat province and the Afghan Parliament
building in Kabul. India’s development assistance programme for Afghanistan currently
stands at USD 2 billion, making it the leading donor nation among all
Afghanistan has experienced a rise in Taliban attacks as foreign troops
plan to withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of the year.
In August last year, a failed bombing on the Indian Consulate in
Jalalabad city near the border with Pakistan killed nine people,
including six children. No Indian officials were hurt.
The Indian Embassy in Kabul was attacked twice in 2008 and 2009 that left 75 people dead.