Chinese police detains one suspect in Xinjiang terror attack

Chinese police said that it has arrested one of the suicide attackers who took part in the bloodiest terror attack in Urumqi, Capital of Xinjiang province, while four others were killed in the incident.

PTI| Last Updated: May 24, 2014, 13:28 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese police said that it has arrested one of the suicide attackers who took part in the bloodiest terror attack in Urumqi, Capital of Xinjiang province, while four others were killed in the incident.

Thirty-nine people were killed and 94 others injured in the attack at a busy market palace on Thursday.

Police have identified five suspects who took part in the attack. Four of the suspects died in the attack and their DNA have been identified.

Another one was caught by police on Thursday night in Bayingolin Mongolia Autonomous Prefecture, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The suspects - Nurahmat Ablipiz, Memet Memtimin, Raghimjan Memet, Memtimin Mahmat and Ablet Abdukadir - had long been influenced by the religious extremism, it said.

They took part in illegal religious activities, watched and listened to terrorist violence video and audio materials police said. There is no word about whether they belonged to any organisation.

China blamed East Turkistan Islamic Movement for violent attacks in the past.

The suspects formed a five-member terrorist gang at the end of 2013. In order to carry out terrorist activities, they bought materials for producing explosives as well as vehicles.

They made explosive devices and chose the target for their attack. On Thursday morning, four members of the gang including Memet Memtimin, carried out the attack.

It was the worst attack in five years in the far western region after riots on July 5, 2009 in the regional capital claimed 197 lives and injured more than 1,700.

Xinjiang, the home of native Turkic speaking Uygur Muslims, was restive for the past several years over Uygurs resentment over increasing settlement of Hans from other parts of China.

Meanwhile, China yesterday launched a one-year campaign against terrorist violence in Xinjiang, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Xinjiang is a remote region with more than half of its population ethnic minorities who hold Muslim beliefs.

Some 190 terrorist attacks were recorded in Xinjiang in 2012, a significant increase from 2011.