An American Abroad

Terrorist Attack in Kunming

In the last 24 hours, I’ve received many messages from friends and family expressing concern for my safety in the wake of yesterday’s horrific terrorist attack in Kunming. I appreciate all those communications; it’s nice to feel looked after by friends half a world away. Let me assure everyone that I’m fine and unharmed and so are the people I know there.

Kunming is about 70 miles north of where I live in Yuxi. Fortunately, I was nowhere near there when the attack occurred. I’ve been to Kunming about ten times, either passing through en route to other places or shopping for things (e.g., coffee) that are hard to find here in Yuxi. I know the area around the train station where the attack occurred. It’s a transportation hub that includes the bus station I use and the place where I get the shuttle to the Kunming airport. I have two friends there, former colleagues of mine who were among the first to welcome me to China.

I share the worldwide revulsion at yesterday’s events. I am shaken by the news photos of people fleeing the attack and running down Beijing Nanlu, a street I’ve walked every time I go to Kunming. Having just taken a train trip, I can well imagine the horror that the people at the Kunming train station felt as maniacs with two-foot knives ran through the station and indiscriminately stabbed, sliced and hacked away at innocent travelers. My heart goes out the victims and their families.

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