The surviving assailant who carried out an attack at a chess hall in Xinjiang that left four people wounded apologized during a “confession” broadcasted on CCTV and said that the other members of his group had convinced him to take part in a “holy war” that would set him on a direct path to heaven.
The attack occurred on June 16 in Xinjiang’s Hotan city when three axe-wielding assailants raided the hall and began stabbing at people. Two of the suspects were killed in the clash and one, Muer Zhati, was arrested.
Security footage of the scene showed assailants brining axes and hacking at people indiscriminately as guests used chairs to protect themselves.
Muer Zhati appeared on CCTV on Saturday wearing cuffs and an orange prison vest. “I just listened to them and did something like this, hacked people,” he said. “I’m sorry, I apologise for my behaviour. I just want to say I’m sorry.”
“They told me about this matter of the holy war, that as long as I died while participating, I could go directly to heaven and not be subject to a trial after I die,” he added.
Muer Zhati on June 15 said that he spent five seconds observing people the chess and card hall before he began stabbing, according to Reuters. CCTV said his confession “came too late and all that is waiting for him now is the strict punishment of the law”.