BEIJING — More than 10 knife-wielding attackers slashed people at a train station in southwestern China late Saturday in what authorities called a terrorist attack, and police fatally shot five of the assailants, leaving 28 people dead and 113 injured, state media said.
The attackers, most of them dressed in black, stormed the Kunming Train Station in Yunnan Province and started attacking people in the late evening, witness Yang Haifei, told the official Xinhua News Agency in an interview from a hospital where he was being treated for chest and back wounds.
“I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone,” he told Xinhua, adding people who were slower ended up severely injured.
“They just fell on the ground,” Yang said.
Xinhua did not identify who might have been responsible for the attack, but said authorities considered it to be “an organized, premeditated violent terrorist attack.”
In an indication of how seriously authorities viewed the attack — one of China’s deadliest in recent years — the country’s top police official, Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, was on route to Kunming, the Communist Party-operated People’s Daily reported.
The violence in Kunming came at a sensitive time as political leaders in Beijing prepared for Wednesday’s opening of the annual meeting of the nominal legislature where the government of President Xi Jinping will deliver its first one-year work report.
Xi called for “all-out efforts” to bring the culprits to justice.