Beijing: Chinese police have seized 1.8 tonnes of bombmaking material and detained five suspected militants from the restive Xinjiang province, authorities said today.
The militants were planning to carry out an attack similar to the one at a busy market in Urumqi, the provincial capital in which 43 persons including four militants were killed and 94 others injured on May 22. One suspect was caught in the attack.
An alleged terror and extremist group led by Abliz Dawut was busted by police in south Xinjiang`s Hotan Prefecture, a statement released by the police said.
Five suspects were held and 1.8 tonnes of explosive materials were seized, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The suspects allegedly watched and listened to terror videos and audio and collected material to make explosive devices. The devices were hidden in Hotan Prefecture.
Abliz and his gang members are suspected of making detonation devices the night after the terror attack on a market in Urumqi on May 22 and premeditating a similar terror attack in crowded locations in Hotan Prefecture, the statement said.
Similar raids which were part of the year-long crackdown launched by the police were carried out in Aksu, Kashgar and Ili prefectures yesterday, leading to the arrest of a group of suspects allegedly involved in terrorist attacks, the spreading of terror videos and audio, illegal production of explosives and illegal immigration.
Twenty-three terror and religious extremism groups were busted and more than 200 suspects were caught in May in south Xinjiang`s Hotan, Kashgar and Aksu prefectures, police said.
China blames the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an Al-Qaeda linked outfit to the attacks in Xinjiang and in rest of China.
ETIM, listed as terrorist group by UN, is fighting for the independence of Xinjiang, where native Muslim Uygurs deeply resent the increasing settlements of majority Hans from other provinces.
Xinjiang started a one-year campaign against terrorist violence on Friday. The campaign will last until June 2015.
The campaign will focus on terrorists and religious extremist groups, gun and explosive manufacturing dens and terrorist training camps.
Authorities in Xinjiang issued a joint statement on Saturday, calling for criminals who are involved in terrorist activities to surrender for lenient punishments.