On the Street in Kashgar

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Below is a brief video of the site of the Aug. 4 attack on Chinese border police in the city of Kashgar in China’s western Xinjiang region. The clip starts at the border police station, then about 150m up the road you see a hotel with reflective windows and a tarp-covered entryway. That hotel, the Yijin, is where Chinese authorities say the attack happened shortly after 8 a.m. Beijing time.

A few things stand out. One is that, as you can see from the video, life seems to be going on as normal. I noticed that throughout Kashgar. The second is that when I was there, a little over 24 hours after the assault, there were few signs of what happened. The site had mostly been cleaned up, and no one wanted to talk about the assault.

On my flight this afternoon from Kashgar to Urumqi I saw a very real example of the violence. A man was strapped to a stretcher that was placed across the last few rows of seats. He had lost his lower right leg, his head was wrapped in bandages, and his face was a swirl of stitches. The flight attendants said he was one of the border guards injured in the attack. As we disembarked, a handful of officers stood on the gangway waiting to meet him.