State television of China on Sunday showed a suspect in an attack on a mahjong games room in China’s western region of Xinjiang confessing and apologizing, and saying he had been influenced to carry out a holy war by other gang members.
China Central Television identified the man in Mandarin as Mu’er Zhati and said the interview with their reporter took place in a local detention center. Mu’er spoke in Uighur, the language of the native Muslim Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) people of the region who want more autonomy from Beijing. Extremists among them have been blamed for a spate of attacks on civilians, including a market bombing last month that killed 43 people in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi.
CCTV said Mu’er was one of three attackers that entered a games room in Hotan city last Sunday evening and used axes to slash at people playing mahjong. The players fought back with chairs and the three ran outside but were stopped from escaping by other people armed with sticks until security forces arrived. The other two attackers were seriously injured and died, authorities said earlier. Four civilians were wounded.