Chinese experts see foreign hand in Xinjiang attac
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 22:48
Beijing: Chinese anti terrorism experts have blamed overseas terrorist groups for instigating this week's attack on a police station in Uyghur Muslim majority Xinjiang province bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Chinese state media quoted anti-terror experts as saying that the attack on July 18 in which a group of rioters with explosive devices and grenades stormed a police station in north western Hotan town, killing an armed policeman, a security guard and two hostages, was "hugely influenced" by overseas terrorist groups.

After the attack, armed police stormed the building and shot several militants dead before regaining control.

Chinese state media said 14 rioters were shot dead during the attack.

The daring attack in Xinjiang came two years after the region witnessed massive riots between Uyghurs and mainland Hans killing nearly 200 people.

Though largely peaceful, the province continued to simmer with sporadic violence, which China blames on the separatist Islamic East Turkistan Movement (ETM).

Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said the incident bore the hallmark of a terrorist attack "aimed to stir public panic".

"Signs have shown that the rioters were greatly influenced by overseas terrorist organisations. They adopted a complicated approach to the attack and sought to amplify fears among the public," Li said.

"Their aggressiveness in choosing a police station as a target rang the alarm bell for local authorities that grave challenges to security remain," he said.


First Published: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 22:48

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