A dad from Xinjiang laments his son’s death at the hands of terrorists.


Tursun Talip still grits his teeth when he talks about the terrorists who killed his son Turghunjan, an auxiliary police officer, during a coordinated attack on a pedestrian street in Yecheng county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, in February 2012.

Victims and survivors of terrorist attacks recently shared their stories in a special report, “Victims and Survivors of Terrorism in China; An Oral History” that was released by the Institute for Communication and Borderland Governance at Jinan University on Thursday.

“How young my son was when he was killed by the terrorist. And he had just become a father, as his baby was only 6 months old,” Tursun said. “His wife was unemployed then, and their family was ruined.

“My son was only 28 years old at the time, and if not for the incident, he would have been 38 or 39 years old now, and our family would have been very happy.”

Tursun said his daughter-in-law has taken care of their child and hasn’t remarried.

Tursun was working at a school when the terrorist attack occurred at about 7 pm in Yecheng on Feb 28, 2012.

He recalled that he received a phone call and was told to close the school gate. He was told that nobody was allowed to leave the campus as a terrorist attack had been reported on Xingfu Road nearby.

But what worried Tursun the most was the safety of Turghunjan, who was on duty in the area where the terrorist attack happened.

Tursun later rode a motorbike to the scene. He found that the attack was over, the crowd had been evacuated and the police had begun to clean up the scene.

He learned that Turghunjan had been sent to the hospital and raced to get there.

He broke down in tears when he was told his son had been killed. He was taken to identify the body.

“Outside the room, I saw the wounds on my son’s neck, and here (pointing to his shoulder and neck), and there (pointing to his right arm),” he said.

“The county chiefs were in the hospital, keeping comforting us,” he recalled.

Tursan said he was grateful for the appreciation shown for his son’s service by county officials.

“When we came out of the hospital, my daughter-in-law immediately broke down, and the county leaders said my son honorably sacrificed himself for the country’s people, and they escorted my son’s body back to my house,” he said.

The county government organized a funeral for Turghunjan the next day, and all the county officials attended.

Tursun did not tell his wife about their son’s death then, as she had just had eye surgery in Urumqi and was resting at their eldest daughter’s house.

Tursun said she was in poor health, and their daughter was taking care of her. He did not tell their other children, either.

“My son, who had been a hard-working person, was just doing his job that day, but ended up brutally killed,” he said.

Tursun said he just wanted to ask those terrorists: “Don’t you cherish your own lives?”

Fadia Jiffry

Fadia Jiffry

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