China vows crackdown over Xinjiang attacks

August 2nd, 2011 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 2 (IANS) China has pledged to crack down on terrorists trained in Pakistan who killed a dozen people before seven of the attackers were slain by security forces in the border region of Xinjiang.

A senior government official of Xinjiang Uygur region visited civilians injured in the attacks in Kashgar town and vowed to severely crack down on the terrorists, Xinhua reported.

Nur Bekri, chairman of the regional government, said the government would go all out to counter the violence and give “severe punishment” to the terrorists.

About 20 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in two attacks in Kashgar over the weekend. The dead include seven terrorists, two of whom were killed Monday night.

On Saturday night, two people hijacked a truck after killing its driver and drove it into a crowded street. They jumped out of the truck wielding knives and hacked stunned bystanders.

On Sunday afternoon, a group of people set fire to a restaurant and randomly attacked civilians with knives in downtown Kashgar. Police opened fire and shot dead five suspects.

The government has credited Sunday’s act of terror to religious extremists of the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) trained in Pakistan.

Police told Xinhua that though there was no evidence to show the two attacks were linked, Saturday’s attack was meticulously planned.

Nur Bekri told soldiers and police: “The battle against separatist activities will be tough and might go on for a long time.”

Cheng Zhenshan, another official at Kashgar, vowed to fight separatists, religious extremists and terrorists with “iron fists”.

Xinjiang’s 41.5 percent of population are Uygurs, a Muslim Chinese ethnic group. The region borders eight countries, many of which — including Pakistan and Afghanistan — have been plagued by terrorism.

Xinjiang witnessed riots in July 2009. Rock-flinging and knife-wielding people looted shops, torched vehicles and killed nearly 200 people in the regional capital Urumqi.

The government blamed overseas groups for the riots.

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