On the morning of August 4, China News reported that two Uighurs in Kashgar (28 and 33 years old) had stolen a truck, slammed through the police gates at a Kashgar police station while the police were in the yard for morning exercises. Reportedly, the two opened fire, killed 16, and wounded an equal number. Reportedly, the assailants were in custody.
That morning, at 11:30, we could not get Blogspot.com to allow us to create new posts or edit old posts, and our e-mails out were returned. Our credit cards not being honored at the China Southern Airlines office shortly thereafter may have had something to do with the internet blockage.
At 4:30 pm in a different internet cafe, some foreigners near us told us of the attack. They were going to Kashgar that next day, and were worried. At that point, we called our tour guide, who, after contacting the tour group currently in Kashgar, assured us that all was OK on the ground.
Even in Urumqi, our bags were checked mpre frequently as we entered stores and buses. There were more police on the roads than we had seen previously in China.
By the next day, we were able to send e-mails, so we sent the blog to our kids in the US, who posted it. Blogspot finally worked on Aug 6.
When we did get to Kashgar and south XinJiang, there were lots of extra checkpoints on the roads. The fact that we were forced to get an Alien Travel Permit to go south to see Mustaghata, may have had something to do with this (or maybe not).
We saw a little tidbit on CCTV 9 (the English station) on the morning of Aug 6. Nothing on the Chinese stations.
Later we saw news about the attack in Beijing on an Olympic athlete's relative only through Google.com. We did, however, hear commentary on how fantastically wonderful the Opening Ceremonies were, over and over and over and . . . . . .
Thanks to those of you who sent us e-mails during this period.
NEW NEW NEW Today (Sep 29) there appears an article in the New York Times about how some tourists in the hotel across the street witnessed the attack and disagreed with most of what the Chinese reported. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/29/world/asia/29kashgar.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&sq=kashgar&st=cse&scp=1
From our point of view, the pertinent part of the article is as follows:
Other officers were trying to disperse civilian onlookers, the tourists said. One of the officers saw the photographer with his camera in his hotel room window, the tourists said.
For about five hours after that, police officers locked down the hotel and went room to room questioning people, the tourists said. They seemed unthreatening, the tourists said, but they kept asking about photographs and checking cameras.
“They asked if we took any pictures; we said no,” the relative said. The tourists had stuffed the camera into a bag. “They asked if we sent any e-mails. I said no.”
We now understand why our e-mails didn't work for two days.