China warns of "life and death" battle with terror
The far western Chinese province of Xinjiang in China has been in news because of its separatist violence. Muslim separatist movements have threatened the area after China annexed the province in 1949. Eversince the rebel Muslim separatist movement by the local Uighurs have been underway and China has tried to suppress time to time rebel activites. The province shares its boundry with Afghanistan and Pakistan, considered as haven for religious Jihadis.
China has been fearing trouble in the run up to Olympics games and had almost locked down entire province. But just before the games beginning the rebels struck and killed at least 16 soldiers. The incident had cast a pall of gloom over China's high profile preparation of the Games. China had feared that Xinjiang separatists would use Olympics games to highlight their issue and will increase the attacks.
The leader of China's restive far-western region of Xinjiang has warned of a "life and death struggle" against terrorism, following a series of attacks that raised fears of threats to the Olympic Games.
The oil-rich region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been hit with three separate attacks on government posts in the past two weeks that authorities blame on Muslim separatists seeking to disrupt the Games.
Xinjiang Communist Party secretary Wang Lequan "pointed out that leaders at all levels must deeply understand that the struggle against the 'three forces' is one of life or death", Thursday's Xinjiang Daily said, refering to terrorism, separatism and religious extremism, forces China says are threats to its security and unity.
It accused extremists in Xinjiang, more than 3,000 km from Beijing, of seeking a separate state of East Turkestan, but critics charge such threats have been exaggerated by a regime bent on controlling the culture and religion of the minority ethnic Uighurs who populate the region.
"In Xinjiang, the fight against separatist forces is long-term, arduous and complex," the newspaper quoted Wang as telling a leadership meeting.
Security forces must "stick to a strategy of seizing the initiative to strike pre-emptively, closely guard against and attack separatist sabotage by the three forces and never allow our enemies to gain strength".
He said an attack on Aug. 4 in the region's Silk Road city of Kashgar that killed 16 police was "planned, organised and premeditated terrorist violence".
"After the incident, relevant authorities handled it according to law, preserved social stability and the normal order of work and life," Wang said.
The suspects, both Uighurs, were arrested on the spot.
But the region has since seen further violence, on Sunday, when suicide bombers launched a dozen attacks with homemade grenades in the town of Kuqa, and on Tuesday, when three security officers in Shule county were stabbed to death.