Sunday, March 2, 2014

A tragedy in China - over 30 killed by terrorists in Kunming

(photo from

The Uighur or Uyghur people are an ancient people.  They speak a language similar to Turkish and appear to look "European." They are also Muslim. A majority of the Uighur people, however, currently live in China. Apparently the Uighur people would like to have their political independence - a country of their own.

Therefore, 10 Uighur terrorists, dressed in black, attacked a crowded train station in China in order to show their anger.

Here is an article about this terrible tragedy. (A tragedy is a horrible situation that results in death.)

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

terror - a feeling of extreme or deep fear; therefore a terrorist is someone who takes action to cause fear among groups of people

knife-wielding - to wield a knife or sword means to swing a knife or sword from side to side violently to kill one or more people; the term can also be used 'figuratively', for instance, a president wields power (exercises or uses power). i.e. The president of the US does not wield as much power as many people think. The powers of the president are limited by the Constitution.

an assailant - an attacker, someone who takes aggressive action to harm others

injured - wounded, harmed but still alive

to stab and to slash - to stab is to thrust a knife into another's body, to push it in; to slash is to cut sideways to cut the flesh open

stormed through - forced their way through aggressively, violently

ethnic separatists - there is a difference between ethnicity and race.  If you are Chinese, your race is Asian, your ethnicity is Chinese.  So the Uighur people belong to their own ethnic group.  They are also separatists - they wish to live separately of the Chinese people.

captured - caught

at random - they did not act deliberately or choose whom they were going to kill.  They just attacked people who were available.

exerted - used

resolutely crack down on - strongly punish

swollen with arrogance - they feel 'big' because they think they can act against the law - they are arrogant, they think they are above the law, overly proud

rounding up members - gathering people

confirmed - verified, proved

municipal - city

freaking out - slang for panicking, losing one's sense of calm and feeling very anxious and scared

to take refuge - to get to a safe place

chopping - swinging down with the knife to cut into people

motives - what causes a person or people to act

crack down the crimes - should be: crack down on the crimes

in accordance to the law - following the law

no tolerance - no forgiveness or mercy will be shown

simmering - when you heat water, it begins to simmer before it boils; so if something is simmering, it is ready to boil or become worse

heavy-handed security - very forceful actions to prevent protests or trouble

clashes - fights

unrest - violence

mob - a violent group of people

a vigilante - someone who takes action to punish someone he/she thinks is a criminal, instead of trusting the police to do it 

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