At least 31 were killed and more than 90 injured in bomb blasts that rocked a market area in the northwestern region of Xinjiang in China early Thursday.
Local government authorities said the attack is believed to have been carried out by radical Muslim separatists and described it as the most “serious violent terrorist incident of a particularly vile nature,” CBS reported.
The attackers drove SUVs through metal barriers in the city streets and smashed into the crowd of shoppers, dumping explosives from their vehicle windows onto the ground, CNN said.
The SUVs then crashed into each other head-on and one exploded, an eyewitness told local media.
Recent acts of violence in the volatile region have been blamed on extremists with the Turkie Uighur Muslim ethnic group that seeks to oust China’s influence in the area — and officials say this attack is yet one more committed by the same organization, CBS said.
Photos of the scene showed bodies in the street and a large fire in the background.
Chinese authorities vowed to “severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability” in response to the market attack, CBS reported.