Survivors recall violent attack that shocked nation
Updated: 2013-07-06 09:07
By Xinhua in Urumqi (China Daily)
'I will clean up my hometown when the wound heals over'
Kurban, a street cleaner in Lukqun Township, was also injured in the attack. He had just finished an X-ray exam on the fracture in his fibula when Xinhua correspondents met with him at the hospital.
Kurban said he had planned to finish his work earlier in the morning, but he ran into the rioters as they stormed out of the township government building - something he never expected.
"Three of the rioters were wearing masks, holding long knives," he said. "It was horrifying."
"In the morning, my wife reminded me of finishing cleaning earlier, so I went to work earlier than usual. I saw many people setting cars alight when I had almost reached the township government building. I felt it was strange and did not know what was happening."
About six to seven people with knives in their hands rushed into the compound of the township government after setting fire to cars. They set the government building on fire, and later they did the same to a two-story building across the street, he said.
"The rioters were in head-covers, with only two ferocious eyes exposed, and I heard them yelling and chasing a person. It was terrible, for the knives are very long," Kurban said. "I didn't realize such horrible things until then."
Two police cars came from the direction of the local police station at that time, but the rioters did not run away. More rioters rushed out, wielding long knives and wooden sticks. They surrounded the police officers and smashed up the police cars in the middle of the road, he said.
"Then I heard several gun shots, and two rioters were shot down. When I realized I should run away, I just did not have a chance and was beaten down to the ground by the rioters," he recalled.
"Honeydew melon and grapes harvested in our Lukqun township are famous nationwide, which has attracted people from across the country to visit my hometown. Why don't they (the rioters) cherish such a good life? Why do they still want to kill people? Execution by shooting is too good for them," the street cleaner said.
Kurban brimmed with indignation as he recalled the morning attack with a resonant voice. He sometimes hurt himself during the interview, as his emotional gesturing disturbed his injured leg.
Kurban said he will contribute more to the development of the township and make sure the township is clean after he recovers.