Xinjiang militants influenced by foreign terror groups: China

Stepping up security in Beijing and other major cities after suffering its bloodiest terror strike in Xinjiang, China said the Islamic militants who carried out the attack were influenced by terrorists from outside the country.

PTI| Last Updated: May 23, 2014, 21:00 PM IST

Beijing: Stepping up security in Beijing and other major cities after suffering its bloodiest terror strike in Xinjiang, China today said the Islamic militants who carried out the attack were influenced by terrorists from outside the country.

"Judging from the terrorist attacks that we have handled up to now, the terrorists are influenced by terror outfits from outside China and exposure to extremism on the internet," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here.

"Their purpose is to sabotage the peace and stability of Xinjiang and China and achieve their hidden political agenda," he said.

This kind of activity by no means would be allowed by the 1.3 billion Chinese people, Hong said adding that "we will take all necessary measures to crack down on their cruel activities and safeguard the unity, solidarity and dignity of the law of the country".

At least 31 people were killed and 94 others injured in yesterday`s attack at a busy market street in Xinjiang`s capital Urumqi, in which an unspecified number of militants in SUVs ploughed into people, hurling bombs before blowing up their vehicles.

It was by far the worst attack carried out by militants, suspected to be from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), fighting for the independence of Xinjiang, where native Muslim Uygurs resent the settlement of Han Chinese from other provinces.

Hong`s comments came after Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping promised to crackdown on ETIM forces who are reportedly operating from Pakistan`s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

ETIM, which is banned by the UN, is stated to be a wing of al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, state television CCTV announced that the Chinese government has cancelled leave of all police personnel in Beijing as it stepped security in the capital.

The number of armed police patrols have been increased with the directive that they should reach the site of any trouble within a minute.

All cities in China have deployed armed police after the recent knife attacks in several railway stations.
Also, China`s minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun who is also the leader national anti-terrorism leadership group, rushed to Urumqi immediately after the deadly attack.

Evidence at the scene of the crime showed that it was a premeditated and organised terrorist attack, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The case warned us that we should keep a vigilant eye on anti-terror work, and take an iron-handed attitude to launch a special campaign against terrorism in Xinjiang," Guo said.
He also called on local administration to make efforts to safeguard social stability, strengthen integrated prevention and control measures, and further screen potential dangers.
He also called for strengthened armed patrol in crowded places, control of dangerous and explosive items, and severely punish all kinds of serious crimes.