View Full Version : Xinjiang official calls Monday's raid on border police a terrorist attack

06-08-08, 09:41
www.chinaview.cn 2008-08-06 00:15:31

KASHI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- An official of Kashi Prefecture in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said on Tuesday the raid on Kashi border police a day earlier was a terrorist attack.

The attack had been planned in advance, Shi Dagang, Communist Party secretary of Kashi, told a press conference held in Kashi on Tuesday afternoon.

The two suspects, caught at the scene, had confessed their crime, Liu Yaohua, head of the public security department of Xinjiang, said at a press conference held in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.

The two, both locals of Kashi, were identified as Abdurahman Azat, a 33-year-old vegetable peddler, and Kurbanjan Hemit, a 28-year-old taxi driver, Shi said in Kashi.

The two suspects said in their confession they had closely observed the time and route the Kashi border police used for morning runs for more than a month before Monday's attack.

Police also found nine home-made explosive devices at the scene (two were detonated during the attack), along with other weapons.

The weapons were similar to those found by Xinjiang police at a training base of the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" (ETIM) in a crackdown on Dec. 25, 2007, according to the police.

Shi said the two had written in documents prepared beforehand that the attack was more important than their lives or those of their mothers, so they had to wage "holy war".

The explosive devices and weapons held by the two suspects and the crime they committed all indicated violent intent, Shi said.

"For these two people, it is very clear that they are part of violent terrorist forces, and they have carried out a terrorist attack," he added.

The Kashi police said one of the attackers drove a truck toward a team of more than 70 police who were jogging past the Yiquan Hotel in a regular morning exercise at about 8:00 a.m.

At the same time, the other suspect threw an explosive toward the gate of the station and brandished a knife at the police who had been run over by the truck.

The attackers were detained on the spot after killing at least 16 policemen and injuring 16 others.

The two suspects said the truck used in the raid was stolen and parked near the Kashi border police division the night before the deadly attack.

One of them stayed on watch and informed the other by cellphone when the border police went out for the morning run. The latter drove at full speed toward the policemen from behind, according to the account.

Of the 16 injured, four were seriously hurt and two remain in critical condition, Shi said.

"We will go all out to save the injured policemen, and the best medical staff has been arranged to treat them," he pledged.

Shi said relatives of those killed in the accident had been informed immediately, and some have arrived in Kashi. He said 16 working teams had been set up, one for each victim's family.

Liu said Monday's deadly attack had caused no panic among local residents.

"Residents in Xinjiang are confident of social stability, as they are very clear of the power of police against opposing forces."

Police tightened security checks in Xinjiang after the attack.

Authorities in Kashi reinforced the police presence at road entries to the city on Monday afternoon and ordered a full security alert in public places including government office buildings, schools and hospitals.

Police demanded bag checks from passengers passing through road checkpoints and got on vehicles to carry out security checks.

In Urumqi, the regional capital, special police used wireless ID checking devices in routine street patrols. Such digital devices can trace ID data through the police network and send out alerts if an ID matches that of a suspect at large.

Liu also said there is no evidence showing that Monday's attack was related to the ETIM, but promised to continue to report the progress of the investigation.

"No sufficient evidence has been found to say for sure that ETIM was behind Monday's deadly attack," Liu told reporters.

Xinjiang police have arrested 18 members of the ETIM so far this year, as overseas organizations plotted to destroy the Beijing Olympics, Shi said in Kashi.

All the 18 arrested had been trained overseas, he said.

He said the ETIM group claimed it would launch a terrorist attack every month at the beginning of the year and had sent seven instructions to terrorist forces inside China.

"They are trying to turn 2008 into a year of mourning and a year of terror," Shi said.

In two statements posted on the Internet on June 26 and 27, the ETIM group had instigated residents in northwest China to wage holy war against local authorities with explosions and poison, he said.

The group had also used the Internet to teach domestic terrorist forces how to carry out attacks and make explosives.

Also on Tuesday, Sun Weide, a media official of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games, said Beijing is prepared to respond to all kinds of security threats and has the confidence and capability to host a safe Olympic Games.

"We are confident and capable of holding a safe Olympic Games under the leadership of the Chinese government and with the help of the international community," he said.

He stressed that security is the "foundation and a key part" of a successful Olympic Games.

Editor: Mu Xuequan