Beijing: Seventeen officials in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been punished for dereliction of duty after a series of terrorist attacks in September, as the party chief of the northwestern region vowed a tougher "people's war" against terrorism.
The officials who were deemed negligent and disciplined include Liu Fulin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of Luntai county, his deputy, and other county and township officials, Xinhua news agency reported citing ts.cn, the region's official website.
Most were given serious warnings, and the CPC chief and government head of Terakbazar township were dismissed.
Forty rioters died in a series of planned bomb attacks in Luntai county on Sep 21, 2014. Six civilians were killed and dozens injured in the terror attacks.
Xinjiang is in the midst of an intensive crackdown on terrorism after a string of terrorist attacks.
Zhang Chunxian, member of the political bureau of the central committee of the CPC and party chief of Xinjiang, said Xinjiang would continue to push forward a special anti-terrorism operation that began in late May, digging out the root of terrorism and sparing no effort to "educate and reform" terrorists to win "the people's war against terrorism".
Zhang warned in a meeting Wednesday that the region's fight against terrorism has entered a new phase that it was "more complicated and more intensive", though the security situation in general was under control.
"It's a historic battle... We must be proactive to brandish the sword and advance against terrorists in a full-on approach," he said.
Eliminating extremism was the most pressing work of the government right now, which should work hard to win people's hearts and strengthen public education on laws, he said.
Xinjiang has busted a series of terror-related gangs, arrested a group of terror suspects, and confiscated illegal publications related to terrorism and separatism since the central government decided May 23 to carry out a one-year crackdown on terrorism in Xinjiang.
Meanwhile, more and more people of different ethnic groups have joined in the fight on terrorism.
Police in the region have offered rewards for citizens who turn over guns and explosives or provide tips.
Zhang asked officials, especially those working in villages and towns, to promote communications and unity between different ethnic groups.