PLA sentry stabbed in attack, a week after soldier on garrison guard duty shot dead

Choi Chi-yuk
445 字
2009 年 3 月 28 日
South China Morning Post
(c) 2009 South China Morning Post Publishers Limited, Hong Kong. All rights reserved.
A People's Liberation Army sentry belonging to the same division as the one who was shot dead outside a Chongqing garrison last week was stabbed in an attack in Sichuan province, a local rights watchdog said.

The soldier, affiliated with the 64th Squad of the PLA's 149th Division in Leshan about 275km west of Chongqing, was stabbed by a man with a dagger on Thursday. The sentry had attempted to check the man's identity, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said yesterday, quoting local sources. It said the injury was minor.

One of the victim's fellow sentries failed to capture the attacker, who was still at large yesterday, the report said.

There appeared to be no connection between the attack and the one on March 19 in which Han Junliang, an 18-year-old PLA soldier, was shot dead at close range by a mysterious attacker in Chongqing. The soldier's sub-machine gun was stolen. He served in the 17th Regiment of the 149th Division.

Violent attacks targeting military personnel like this have been rare, but military institutions all over the country - especially in Chongqing and Chengdu - have stepped up security.

The rights centre also said the Central Military Commission recently authorised local officers to shoot after three warnings if anyone trespassed onto a military installation.

It said that spokesmen for the headquarters of the 149th Division, the division's war room and the 64th Squad all confirmed the stabbing attack, though a local official reached by phone refused to.

"I've not yet heard of the news," an official with the Luomu town government under Emeishan city said. "[The military] would not report such cases to local authorities even if something had really happened there.

"Instead, they would investigate the case themselves, though the troop is stationed about 7km away from the headquarters of our township government," added the official, who declined to be named.

But he did admit that traffic restrictions, including roadblocks after 8pm, had been imposed recently.

As one of the main forces in the Chengdu military region, the PLA's 149th Division is responsible for securing the political, military and social stability of Tibetan populated regions in both Sichuan and Tibet.

In March 1989, more than 2,000 soldiers from the division were airlifted to Lhasa after riots erupted in the Tibetan capital.

Today is Tibet's first Serfs Emancipation Day, as designated by the central government, referring to the putting down of a Tibetan uprising 50 years ago.