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Terrorist cell smashed after attack in Xinjiang

Publication Date : 28-01-2014


Police from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said on Sunday night that all 17 members of a terrorist cell that set off explosions in Aksu prefecture are either dead or have been arrested.

In a drive-by bombing using three motorcycles, the group threw explosive devices at a hair salon and a vegetable market in the seat of Xinhe county at about 6:40pm on Friday. The regional government said after a 48-hour investigation that the terrorists were organised and that the attack was premeditated.

Police said a man named Ibrahim Qahar is the group's leader. They said Qahar has organised illegal religious activities and spread messages of religious extremism since May. It's unclear if Qahar was killed after the bombings or arrested.

Police also said the group made the explosives in a rented house. Immediately after the attack, six suspects were shot dead and six others died after the explosives they were carrying detonated. Five suspects have been arrested. One policeman was injured in the bombing.

The attack came just a week after Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, vowed to curb the spread of religious extremism and prevent violent terrorist attacks and mass incidents from occurring.

Religious followers must be conscious of the state, the law and citizenship, said Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC, on Sunday. Yu also said religious activities need to be carried out according to the law.

Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of the region, said on January 21 that Xinjiang officials must find a balance between respecting people's customs and striking hard against any violence in accordance with the law.

"Thus far, China does not have a specific anti-terrorism law, so it may be difficult to crack down on terrorist activities. Therefore, it's necessary to speed up the formulation of laws and regulations, which will provide legal support for the country to intensify its anti-terrorism efforts," Shan Chunchang, a counselor of emergency management for the State Council, said last week.

Shan added that authorities should step up their efforts to prevent terrorists from penetrating into big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

On October 28, five people, including three terrorists, were killed and another 40 were injured after Usmen Hasan drove a jeep carrying his wife and mother into a crowd at Tian'anmen Square.

The Chinese government said the attack was organised and premeditated by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a terrorist organisation.


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