World Bulletin / News Desk
Chinese authorities named a pair of suspects from the heavily Muslim western region of the country as suspicions that a deadly car crash which claimed the lives of 5 people yesterday in Beijing's Tiananmen Square was an attack.
Sources said on Tuesday that the crash, that also injured 38 by standers in perhaps the most closely guarded location in China, was suspected of being a suicide attack carried out by people from East Turkistan.
"It looks like a pre-meditated suicide attack," said a source with direct knowledge of the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions for talking to the foreign media.
Police are still investigating and have yet to determine the identities of the three people in the vehicle, but suspect they are from Xinjiang, according to the sources. A Chinese man and a Filipino woman, both tourists, were also killed.
However, Beijing police said late on Monday that they were looking for two suspects from Xinjiang (East Turkistan) in connection with a "major incident", though it was unclear if these were the people who were in the vehicle or accomplices still at large.
The sources said that the occupants were suspected of lighting a flammable substance in the vehicle.
"It was no accident. The jeep knocked down barricades and rammed into pedestrians. The three men had no plans to flee from the scene," said a source who has ties to the leadership.
The Uighur people declared independence in October 1933 but the region was placed under the control of communist China in 1949.
There has been a mass immigration of Han Chinese, which has subdued Uighur influence in the region and made them a minority.
Muslim Uighurs have complained that China has restrained Uighurs' religious, commercial and cultural activities.