Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows.
The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security.
Two 4x4 vehicles rammed into shoppers in an open market, Xinhua news agency reported, citing witness reports.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Thirty-one people are dead and more than 90 injured after attackers drove their cars into an open-air market in China and hurled explosives out the windows
The attack occurred at 7.50am local time in the city of Urumqi, the capital of the volatile Xinjiang region, and has been described as a 'serious violent terrorist incident' by China's Ministry of Public Security
Photos posted on social media site, Weibo, show bodies and debris from the market strewn about the street
A picture allegedly from the bomb site, shows a man lying on the street after explosions rocked through Urumqi in China's north-west
Strong condemnation of the terrorist attack that claimed over 31 lives in China's northwestern city of Urumqi poured in from the international community on Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the victims of the attack, which took place at a morning market earlier on Thursday and left 94 injured, via a message to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In the message, Putin strongly condemned the bloody crime, saying he hoped the organizers will be found and prosecuted, and confirmed Moscow's interest in further strengthening Russia-China cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism.
Putin also sent condolences to the relatives of those killed and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday condemned in the strongest terms the killing and injuring of many innocent people.
Karzai offered his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of China and called the attack "an act by the enemies of peace and stability who don't want to see our region grow secure, stable and developed."
The president stressed that the Afghan people, more so than others, can well understand such pains and grief as they have long been victims of terrorist attacks.
He also expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims and wished a quick recovery to those injured.
The South African government condemned all forms and manner of terrorism.
"We believe that terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned," the country's Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.
France, Hungary and Greece, as well as the European Union (EU), also lashed out at the terrorist activity and showed sympathy with those who fell victim, with the EU branding it a "senseless act of violence."
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal expressed his country's solidarity with the government and the people of China in this ordeal.
Hungary was shocked by the Urumqi attack, stressing that terrorist activities targeting innocent civilians are severe crimes and can not be accepted under any circumstances.
Greece also strongly condemned the act, expressing solidarity with the Chinese people.
"We condemn in the most unequivocal manner the deadly terrorist attack carried out today in China, in the city of Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region," Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in a statement released by the ministry.
"We express our solidarity with the Chinese people and our condolences to the families of the victims, and we wish those who were injured a speedy recovery," he added.
"The European Union condemns this senseless act of violence and extends its heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims," Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told Xinhua on Thursday.
Australia's ambassador to China, Frances Adamson, has joined the global chorus of condemnation, reporting that the Australian government is concerned by reports of the explosions in Urumqi.
"We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to the victims of the attack and their families," she said.
"The Australian government deplores all forms of terrorism and condemns any attack on innocent people."
Pakistan also voiced its condemnation and showed sympathy with the government and the people of China.
Iran said acts of violence and extremism targeting innocent people anywhere in the world are condemned and such moves have no connection with the principles of Islam at all, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said.
Vietnam strongly condemned the terrorist attack and extended deep condolences to the Chinese people and relatives of the victims. Vietnam's Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said he hoped that the culprits would be brought to justice.
Also on Thursday, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev condemned the violence, expressing the SCO's strong indignation and deep sorrow.
"We express deep-felt condolence to the victims and convey sincere solace to relatives of the victims and the injured people," Mezentsev said in a statement.
It is the priority of the SCO to fight terrorism, the statement said, adding the international community should further boost cooperation to combat terrorist activities effectively.
The Palestinian presidency condemned the terrorist attack. - Xinhua
"We condemn with the strongest words this heinous crime," Nemer Hammad, political advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua.
"We support our Chinese friends, and wish speedy recovery to the injured, as well as prosperity, safety and stability to the people of China," Hammad added.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China has the confidence and capability to crack down upon the audacious terrorists.
"The violence, a further indication of the terrorists' anti-human, anti-society and anti-civilization nature, should be condemned by the Chinese people and society," Hong said.
In response to the attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to severely punish terrorists and spare no efforts in maintaining stability, asking local authorities to solve the case quickly, put the injured under proper care and offer condolences to families of the victims.
Two vehicles, without license plates, broke through roadside fences and plowed into people at an open air market in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Thursday morning. Explosive devices were set off, causing the deaths of at least 31 people and injuring 94 others.
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