Police in China arrested seven suspects believed to be involved in the attack and bombing at a main railway station in Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang region, late last month.
The apparent suicide attack carried out on April 30 left three people dead, including the assailants, and 79 more wounded. Authorities had previously identified two assailants in the attack, including 39-year-old Sedirdin Sawut, who was described by state media as being influenced by “extreme religious thoughts”. Weeks ago, it was reported that Xinjiang police were on the search for family members Sawut, who had been missing since the incident.
SCMP relays from a recent Global Times report that police captured seven people at a farm in Changji city and identified them as including two brothers, a cousin and wife of the assailant, whom media have speculated as being a member of the Muslim Uyghur minority.
Exiles and human rights groups, including the Munich-based exile World Uyghur Congress, have attributed the recent string of violent clashes in Xinjiang to discrimination and oppressive religious controls in the region at the hand of Beijing’s police force.