Terror strike in China leaves 21 dead (Lead)

August 4th, 2008 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Urumqi (China), Aug 4 (Xinhua) At least 16 security personnel and five attackers were killed Monday in a terror strike on a paramilitary camp in Kashgar region of China’s far western Xinjiang province. Sixteen more soldiers were injured, officials said here. The attackers, who came in two trucks early morning, smashed their way through the fences into the camp compound and threw two grenades on troops engaged in morning exercise, killing 14 soldiers on the spot and fatally wounding two, the officials said.

Five of the attackers were also killed, while two were arrested, officials said.

The detained men said they wanted to unleash a jihad against ethnic Han Chinese.

The regional public security department said a terror group styled “East Turkistan Islamic Movement” which planned subversive attacks ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games starting Aug 8 could be behind the attack.

Since the start of the year, Chinese authorities say they have eliminated 12 terrorist groups in Kashgar.

The autonomous Xinjiang province is home to many of China’s Muslim Uyghur minority, elements of which have engaged in a decades-long rebellion against Beijing for an independent homeland.

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