Eight killed in China as hijacked bus crashes into pedestrians

China has suffered a spate of similar incidents this year. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 25 December 2018

Eight killed in China as hijacked bus crashes into pedestrians

  • A hijacker carrying a knife has been detained and is being investigated by local police
  • Several injured people were shown lying on the street near a crashed bus

BEIJING: Eight people were killed and 22 injured after a hijacked bus crashed into pedestrians in east China’s Fujian province on Tuesday afternoon, state media reported.
A hijacker carrying a knife has been detained and is being investigated by local police, state television CGTN said.
The incident happened at about 3:20 p.m. (0720 GMT) in the city of Longyan, the local Minxi Ribao newspaper reported. A policeman was among those confirmed dead.
In a video posted by Duowei news, a Chinese media outlet based in the US, several injured people were shown lying on the street near a crashed bus, its front badly damaged.
It also showed police wrestling a person to the ground.
Blood could also be seen on the steps of the bus, which had been stopped in the middle of a road.
State-run news agency Xinhua reported the suspect was a 48-year-old local man surnamed Qiu.
He had attacked a female passenger before taking control of the bus, Duowei reported.
Police said that on the day of the attack the suspect had quarrelled with a local official who had visited his home, adding that the pair had a long history of conflict, according to the Xinhua report.
The 22 wounded in the attack were taken to local hospitals, with one person being treated for “serious injures,” Xinhua said.
Longyan public security bureau declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
China has suffered a spate of similar incidents this year.
In late November, a car plowed into a group of children crossing a street in front of an elementary school in the northeastern Liaoning province, killing five people and injuring at least 19.
The driver said he “chose his victims at random” and had reportedly been contemplating suicide due to domestic troubles before the tragedy occurred.
In October, three people were killed when a man fleeing after committing a stabbing drove into a crowd and attacked onlookers in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
The month before, a man plowed a truck into a crowd in Hunan province and went on a rampage, attacking onlookers with knives and a shovel. Eleven died and 44 were injured.
Grisly car accidents are common in China, where transportation authorities have struggled to uphold safety regulations — which are often flouted or go unenforced.
According to authorities 58,000 people were killed in accidents across the country in 2015 alone.
Last month, at least 13 people died when a bus plunged off a bridge in Chongqing municipality, after the driver got into a fist fight with a passenger who had missed her bus stop.
Search and rescue teams dispatched more than 70 boats, as well as a team of scuba divers and underwater robots, to find the wreckage and retrieve bodies from the water.
Violent crime has also been on the rise in recent decades as the gap between rich and poor has widened rapidly.
Studies also show a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and support systems wither.


Pakistan stays on FATF terrorism financing ‘gray list’

Updated 51 min 29 sec ago

Pakistan stays on FATF terrorism financing ‘gray list’

  • FATF urges Islamabad to swiftly complete full action plan by June 2020
  • Says it will ‘take action’ if Pakistan fails to comply

KARACHI: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money-laundering and terror financing watchdog, on Friday gave Pakistan until June 2020 to improve its anti-terrorism financing measures.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020,” the global body said in a statement issued at a plenary meeting in Paris.
This is the second four-month extension given to Pakistan to implement the agreed action plan.
The global watchdog decided to keep Pakistan on its gray list until the country’s next progress review in June.
The FATF said it would “take action” if Pakistan failed to make progress in prosecuting and penalizing terrorism financing.
In response to the FATF decision, the Pakistani government reiterated its commitment to taking all necessary action required.
“A strategy in this regard has been formulated and is being implemented,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
“(The) FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan toward implementation of the Action Plan, while acknowledging the steps taken by Pakistan toward implementation of the Action Plan and welcoming its high level political commitment,” the statement read.
The ministry said that during the last reporting period, Pakistan had made “significant progress” in the implementation of the 27-point FATF plan, which was demonstrated by the completion of nine additional action items.
While noting the improvements, the FATF expressed concerns over Pakistan’s failure to complete the action plan in line with the agreed timelines and “in light of the TF (terrorism financing) risks emanating from the jurisdiction.”
“Pakistan was required to completely ban terror outfits, take measures to control cash flows, and make laws to curb money laundering,” Muzamil Aslam, a Pakistani economist, told Arab News. “Now it is political will to take measures by June 2020 to get the country out of gray list.”
Ahead of the FATF meeting, Pakistan sentenced Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed to five and a half years in prison on terrorism financing charges. The move was seen as a demonstration of compliance with FATF recommendations.
Pakistan managed to avoid the FATF’s balcklisting thanks to support from friendly countries, including Malaysia, Turkey and especially China.
Ahead of the FATF summit, Pakistan’s de facto finance minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, said that “China and other brotherly countries have supported Pakistan throughout the process in terms of guiding the country to improve its frameworks.”
Pakistan was placed on FATF’s gray list of countries with inadequate control over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing in 2018.

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