United States and the European Union leaders condemned the Muslim terrorist attack in the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur region, Urumqi, according to statements from the Obama White House and a spokesperson from the EU's European External Action Service (EEAS) on Thursday.
According to reports coming out of China, two motor vehicles, without license plates or markings, broke through a roadside fence and drove full-speed right into a crowd of Chinese men, women and children who were shopping at an outdoor marketplace in Urumqi on Thursday morning. Within seconds explosive devices that were loaded into the vehicles were detonated.
The large-scale blasts killed at least 31 people and wounded about 95 other civilians. The Chinese police officials believe the bombers were members of a radical Muslim organization that may be affiliated with al-Qaeda, according to a counterterrorism expert, Samuel Rolfentz.
Chinese police and government officials told their fellow Chinese citizens that they will severely punish the terrorists and their associates and that the police authorities will solve the case without delay. They also said they had provied the wounded proper medical treatment and offered their condolences to victims' families, relatives and friends.
"This is a despicable and outrageous act of violence against innocent civilians, and the United States resolutely opposes all forms of terrorism," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
"We offers our condolences and sympathies to the victims, their families, and all those affected by this attack," he added.
In addition, the European Union condemned the attack in Urumqi, a spokesperson with the EEAS told the Chinese news media.
"We have received reports of a deadly attack on a market in Urumqi, Xinjiang, in China causing 31 deaths and injuring more than 90 people," said Maja Kocijancic, the EEAS spokesperson.
"The European Union condemns this senseless act of violence and extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims," she added.
Thursday's terrorist attack is considered by Chinese government officials to be the deadliest in a series of bombings and shootings in the region. The officials said the suspects are believed to be part of a Islamist-separatist group known as the Uighur who live in Xinjang region and have been involved in a conflict with the Chinese majority.