Beijing: Chinese authorities announced 29 more arrests today in their continuing anti-terrorism crackdown in the northwestern region of Xinjiang following a series of deadly attacks blamed on Muslim extremists.
Four high-profile attacks on civilians, in Xinjiang and in two cities outside, have been blamed on militants from that region since October, handing a major security challenge to Communist Party leader and President Xi Jinping during his first 18 months in office.
The latest crackdown was launched days after a May 22 attack in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi in which men driving off-road vehicles and throwing explosives plowed through a crowded market, killing 39 people in the deadliest outbreak of violence in Xinjiang in recent months.
Police said four suspects were killed at the scene and a fifth was caught that evening in an area 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Urumqi.
The three earlier attacks also were blamed on extremists from Xinjiang`s native Turkic-speaking Uighur population. An apparent suicide bombing April 30 at an Urumqi train station killed two suspected insurgents and one bystander.
In March, 29 people were slashed and stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.