Monday, June 2, 2014
Wang Yongli, who was riding with the 38th Army, described how some civilians threw bricks and bottles at the troops and then attacked military vehicles with iron bars. He said that the soldiers, shaking with fear and rage, first shot into the air, but at some point, the rifle sights were aimed at the crowds. “No one said to shoot, but it was, like, ‘We’re going to teach them a lesson,’ and then those soldiers unleashed their fury,” he said. “You pulled the trigger and bang, bang, bang, it was like rain, the noise shaking the heavens.”
Although an accurate death toll may never be known, estimates of the number of civilians killed by gunfire or crushed by tanks range from the hundreds to more than 1,000. The government estimated that 300 lives were lost, many of them soldiers.
The next day at dawn, Mr. Yang, the historian, then a reporter with the Xinhua news agency, made his way to Muxidi, a neighborhood west of the square that was the scene of some of the fiercest resistance to the military attack.
He saw a tangle of abandoned bikes, charred vehicles and drying pools of blood. “Everywhere you looked there were bullet holes,” he recalled. But perhaps the most chilling sight, he said, was the crimson-colored graffiti slathered across a wall. “People’s Blood!” it read. “People’s Blood!”
When you have rows and rows of tanks moving together, the ground shakes. I saw people with bloody shirts; people being carried on rooftops to safety so they could go to hospital. It was not safe on the road with stray bullets flying everywhere. ~Shen Tong.