Wednesday, August 30, 2006

China police deter bomb attempts from Islamic terrorists.

China: More activity in the regions has led to a bigger crackdown.

Chinese police have seized explosives and foiled attempts by separatists to blow up oilfields, power plants and highways in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, a Beijing funded Hong Kong newspaper said on Wednesday. Uighur militants, whom Beijing calls terrorists, have been struggling for decades to make the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang an independent state called East Turkestan. More than 41 tons of explosives had been seized since 1990 in the fight against the "three forces" of religious "extremism, separatism and terrorism," the Ta Kung Pao daily quoted Xinjiang's public security deputy chief Wang Lexiang as saying. "We've forcefully dealt a blow to the 'three forces' and maintained stability in Xinjiang," Wang was quoted as saying. He did not give a figure for the number of arrests. Police had also confiscated 6,540 grenades and 4.15 metric tons of raw materials to make explosives during the period, Wang said, adding that plans by separatists to bomb power plants, highways and railways had been thwarted. Police had intensified a crackdown on illegal possession of explosives since July, Wang said without elaborating. "The social situation is still grave," he said, adding that the number of violations of rules governing explosives increased by 195 percent last year.

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