BEIJING, March 2 — At least 29 people have been killed and more than 130 wounded in a mass stabbing attack at a Chinese train station, with authorities blaming separatists from Xinjiang, home to the mainly Muslim Uighur minority.
Here is a chronology of key events related to the restive region since 2009:
June 25 -- Two Uighur factory workers are reported killed and dozens injured in a huge brawl with Han Chinese in Shaoguan, in the southern province of Guangdong.
July 5 -- Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Uighurs riot in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi after security forces move in on a protest over the Shaoguan incident.
July 7 -- The government says nearly 200 people died in the unrest, with more than 1,600 injured and hundreds arrested. Eventually at least 26 are reportedly sentenced to death.
September 2 -- Han residents of Urumqi protest for days over a wave of syringe stabbings which the government eventually says had nearly 500 victims, blaming “ethnic separatist forces”.
July 18 -- Police kill 20 protesters in clashes in Hotan, southern Xinjiang, exiled Uighur groups say. State media say police fired on demonstrators who attacked a police station, killing one officer.
July 31-August 1 -- Two attacks by alleged terrorists leave 13 people dead in a Han Chinese section of Kashgar, while police kill eight suspected Uighur separatists.
September 15 -- Courts in Xinjiang sentence to death four Uighurs over the July incidents.
December 28 -- Police in Pishan kill seven “terrorists” in a hostage standoff that left one officer dead. State media calls them terrorists engaged in a “holy war”.
February 28 -- Rioters armed with knives kill at least 10 people in Yecheng, while police shoot two of the attackers dead, state press say. One man is later sentenced to death.
April 23 -- Gunfights in Bachu leave 15 police and community workers and six “terrorists” dead. Two men are later sentenced to death.
June 26 -- At least 35 people are killed when, according to Xinhua, “knife-wielding mobs” attack police stations and other sites in Lukqun before security personnel open fire. Three people are later sentenced to death.
August 20 -- A Chinese policeman is killed in what state media call an “anti-terrorism” operation in Yilkiqi. Overseas media report 22 Uighurs were shot dead.
October 28 -- Three members of the same Xinjiang family crash their car into tourists in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the symbolic heart of the Chinese state, killing two, before setting it on fire and dying themselves, according to authorities who call it a terrorist attack.
November 17 -- Two policemen and nine attackers are killed at a police station in Serikbuya, state media say. Rights groups say the trigger was the fatal shooting of a Uighur youth during a protest.
December 16 -- 14 Uighurs and two police officers are killed in Shufu county. Authorities describe the slain Uighurs as members of an extremist group, but campaigners say police raided a house where a family was preparing for a wedding, with six women among those killed.
December 30 -- An assault on a police station in Yarkand leaves eight attackers dead, according to the Xinjiang government’s official website.
January 15 -- A prominent Uighur academic and critic of government policy, economics lecturer Ilham Tohti, is detained by police, his wife says, and later charged with separatism, which can carry the death penalty.
January 25 -- A total of 12 people have been killed in Xinhe, six in explosions and six shot dead by police dealing with “violent incidents”, a government-run news portal says.
February 14 -- A total of 11 people die in an attack on police in Wushi, with officers shooting eight dead and three blowing themselves up, authorities say.
March 1 -- At least 29 people are killed and more than 130 wounded by knife-wielding assailants at Kunming train station in Yunnan province, more than 1,600km from Xinjiang. Officials blame separatist terrorists from Xinjiang. — AFP