Chinese experts see foreign hand in Xinjiang attac

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.

PTI



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

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