Police reported 77 new needle attacks in 24 hours, a state paper said. Similar news last week prompted huge protests and fear of more ethnic clashes. But some questioned how rampant the attacks really were.
Fresh reports of more syringe attacks have swept through Urumqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Province. Thousands of ethnic Han Chinese staged demonstrations last week after reports surfaced earlier that ethnic Uighurs were behind a rash of syringe attacks.
As reports of new attacks surface, and as some continue to question if the whole thing is a hoax, the Chinese government issued a stinging statement calling the attacks acts of terrorism carried out by organized criminals.
True or not, the new reports threaten to undo the tenuously restored calm.
Police said they received 77 reports of syringe attacks between 5 pm Sunday and 5 pm Monday in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, despite authorities warning attackers they might face the death penalty.
So far, police have caught 45 suspects during the syringe scare, of whom 12 remain in police custody. The procuratorate has approved the arrests of four. Eight people have been sent to drug rehab, according to Urumqi police authorities.