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Six wounded in knife attack at southern China

John Phillips | CNBC

Six people were wounded in a knife attack at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Tuesday, police said, the latest in a series of such assaults that have raised jitters around the country.

No reason was given for the attack, but China's nervousness about militancy, especially Islamic militancy, has grown since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October, and 29 people were stabbed to death in March in the southwestern city of Kunming.

The government blamed militants from the restive far-western region of Xinjiang for both those attacks.

Guangzhou police "arrived quickly on the scene" on Tuesday and shot one of the attackers. Reports in state media said another person was on the run.

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"After verbal warnings were ineffective, police fired, hitting one male suspect holding a knife and subdued him," Guangzhou police said on an official microblog.

It did not identify the attackers and it was not clear if the number of wounded included the assailants.

Photos circulated online in state media showed police cordoning off an empty plaza. There was an ambulance parked there and spots of blood on the ground. An investigation was under way, police said.

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China blamed religious extremists for a bomb and knife attack at a train station in Urumqi, regional capital of Xinjiang, last Wednesday that killed one bystander and wounded 79.

The government called the attackers "terrorists", a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state.

Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest in Xinjiang is China's heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Muslim Uighur people.

Beijing is unhappy at the U.S. State Department's 2013 country reports on terrorism, published last month, which said China's cooperation on fighting terrorism "remained marginal" and that the Chinese provided scarce evidence to prove terrorist involvement in incidents in Xinjiang.

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