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12-08-08, 06:37
Chinese terror attack may not have been separatists
The Chinese government has admitted that separatist terrorists may not have been behind the latest attacks in Xinjiang, a far-western province.


By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Last Updated: 7:17AM BST 12 Aug 2008

Fifteen attackers struck at a police station in Kuqa in the early hours of Sunday morning, killing a security guard and a civilian.

Police captured a handful of the attackers, shot several more, while others committed suicide.

Initially the attack was blamed on one of the East Turkistan terrorist groups which is struggling to make the largely-Muslim province independent

Senior officials blamed a similar attack in Kashgar, in which 16 policemen were killed the previous Monday, on separatists.

However, local party members in Kuqa said in a press conference that there is "no clear evidence" of any connection between the latest bombing and East Turkistan separatists, according to Xinhua, the state media agency. Local people with a grievance against the authorities may have been responsible.

The officials confirmed that all 15 attackers, three of whom are still on the loose, were Uighers, an ethnic Muslim race that makes up almost half the population in Xinjiang. Police said they had not yet confirmed the identities of the three suspects who slipped the net.

One of the captured attackers is a 15-year-old girl, Hailiqiemu Abulizi, according to the authorities. The teenager was allegedly abandoned by her accomplices after injuring herself when throwing a home-made explosive at the police station. She was reported to have bad injuries to her legs and feet, but is now in a stable condition, according to the Kuqa hospital.

Soldiers were sent into Kuqa to secure the town in the wake of the attacks, closing off the centre and shutting down all businesses. However, recent reports suggest that the city of 400,000 has returned to normal, with shops and roads now open again.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/2544191/Chinese-terror-attack-may-not-have-been-separatists.html