WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday condemned the "horrific terrorist attack" that killed at least 31 in China's Xinjiang, voicing strong opposition to violence targeting civilians.
The swift condemnation comes after Chinese social media users criticized the United States for not immediately using the term "terrorism" to describe earlier attacks blamed by authorities on members of the Uighur minority.
"The United States condemns the horrific terrorist attack in Urumqi," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
"This is a despicable and outrageous act of violence against innocent civilians, and the United States resolutely opposes all forms of terrorism," he said, offering sympathies on behalf of the United States.
Authorities said that at least 31 people were killed as attackers rammed two vehicles into a market and threw explosives in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
The attack is the latest in recent months to target civilians in China. In March, masked assailants said by authorities to be Uighurs went on a stabbing spree in a train station of the southwestern city of Kunming, killing 29 people and wounding more than 130 more.
The United States condemned the "terrible and senseless act of violence" in Kunming but nationalist Chinese web users, who dubbed the incident "China's 9/11," attacked Washington for not immediately using the term terrorism.
The United States, while condemning attacks, has frequently called on China to address grievances of the mostly Muslim Uighur people, including restrictions on their religious and political activities.