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16 Policemen Killed in Suspected Terror Attack in Xinjiang
Update: 8/5/2008 1:02:00 AM Source: China Hotels


Two suspects, who carried out violent attack on border police in China's western city of Kashi, Xinjiang, were identified as two Uygur men, aged 28 and 33, respectively, said the local police.

The attackers were detained on the spot, after killing at least 16 policemen and injuring 16 others outside the gate of the Kashi border police division.

The Karshi police said that one of the attackers drove a tip lorry to hit a team of more than 70 policemen who were jogging to pass the Yiquan Hotel in a regular morning exercise at about 8:00 a.m. In the meantime, the other suspect threw an explosive toward the gate of the station.

The driver then abandoned the lorry to throw explosive at the policemen, after the vehicle veered to knock on a roadside wire pole, said the Kashi police.

The police confirmed that the driver blew up one of his arms after igniting the home-made explosive.

Police found 10 home-made explosives, a home-made hand gun and four knives from the vehicle.

The Yiquan Hotel is more than 100 meters away from the police station, Xinhua correspondent reported from Kashi.

He said he saw blood stain left on the sidewalk, although the accident site had been cleaned by police. He also saw a broken wire pole and three tree stubs left from the accident.

No civilians were hurt in the attack so far.

Customers in the Yiquan Hotel said that they thought it was a blast, when they were wakened up by an explosion from outside.

"The ploy of the bloody crime resembles some previous terrorist attempts carried out by 'Eastern Turkistan' separatists, which were foiled by Chinese police," said Li Wei, director of the Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in an interview with Xinhua.

Li said similar raids had been plotted by the separatists, which were targeted on public security staff.

Sun Weide, a media official with the organizing committee of the Beijing Games, said that the organizing committee will contact Xinjiang police over the incident.

He said that China had prepared to handle any threats to ensure the Games safe with the help from the international community.

The Xinjiang regional public security department said it had got intelligence that the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" planned to make terrorist attacks during Aug. 1-8, just ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Chinese police foiled an attempted sabotage instigated and conducted by the "Eastern Turkistan" separatists on board a Southern Airlines flight in March. Three suspects detained by police admitted that the attack was masterminded.

The "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" was one of the main security worries to the Olympics, which also include separatist forces for "Tibet independence", and the Falun Gong cult, according to Tian Yixiang, a senior PLA commander and also a security chief for the Games.

Kurexi Maihesuti, vice chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Government, told a press conference in Beijing last week that Xinjiang police had cracked five terrorism groups in the first half of 2008, detaining 82 suspected terrorists who allegedly plotted sabotage against the Olympics.

The Olympic Games would be a target of various anti-China and hostile forces, which are trying every possible means to sabotage the event, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said last month.

Editor: canton fair

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