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China steps up security as US warns of attack in Kunming

China on Monday tightened security for the upcoming spring festival, days after US Embassy here warned of a terrorist attack in Kunming city where militants from Xinjiang had killed 31 people last year.



Beijing: China on Monday tightened security for the upcoming spring festival, days after US Embassy here warned of a terrorist attack in Kunming city where militants from Xinjiang had killed 31 people last year.

The Spring Festival and Lunar New Year is round the corner and security has been tightened all over China to enable people from celebrating the occasion with peace and security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media responding questions about US travel warning about a possible attack in Kunming, capital of China's southwestern Yunnan province.

She, however, asked media to cross check with relevant officials to get a clarification about the security alert by the US Embassy about a possible attack in Kunming.

"The United States Embassy in Beijing is aware of media reports alleging that terrorists may be planning to launch an attack in Kunming, Yunnan Province over the Lunar New Year period. The Embassy has not been able to verify the accuracy of this report," a travel warning for American citizens on the embassy website said.

The week-long holidays for China's most important festival begins from February 18.

Terrorists were planning to retaliate against Beijing's recent attempts to hunt down Uygurs from Xinjiang who fled to Indonesia and Malaysia, Hong Kong based South China Morning Post quoted Chinese officials as saying.

The news comes after public security vice-minister Meng Hongwei said on Friday that China would send more police liaison officers overseas to boost efforts to bring home fugitives and clamp down on nationals fleeing the country for militant Islamist training.

The US embassy said in a "security message" on Friday it had not been able to verify the claims of a terrorist plot, adding that neither US citizens nor foreigners in general were targeted in last year's terror attacks in China.

Five knife-wielding assailants attacked travellers at Kunming train station in March, killing 31 and injuring 141 after their group failed to cross the border into Vietnam.
State-run Global Times?reported last week that four suspects from Xinjiang were arrested last year in Poso, central Sulawesi in Indonesia.

It said the four initially claimed they had come from Xinjiang, but later said they came from Turkey.

From Zee News

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