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Pakistani trained terrorists attack China?

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AFP reports:

China on Monday blamed Muslim separatist “terrorists” trained in neighbouring Pakistan for an outbreak of deadly violence and imposed heavy security in a bid to prevent further unrest.

Nineteen people were killed in two separate incidents in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar over the weekend in the latest wave of violence to hit the restive Xinjiang region, home to a mainly Muslim Uighur minority.

The Kashgar local government said in a statement on its website the assailants behind one attack that left six dead had learned explosive-making skills in terrorist-run camps in Pakistan.

“The heads of the group had learned skills of making explosives and firearms in overseas camps of the terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement in Pakistan before entering Xinjiang,” the online statement said.

The attackers adhered to “extremist religious ideology” and advocated “jihad”, the statement also said.

Chinese authorities have accused the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which wants an independent homeland for Xinjiang’s Uighurs, of orchestrating attacks in the region on many occasions.

The United States and the United Nations have listed the ETIM as a “terrorist” organisation, and China has previously said it has operations in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

Many of Xinjiang’s eight million Turkic-speaking Uighurs are unhappy with what they say has been decades of political and religious repression, and the unwanted immigration of China’s dominant Han ethnic group.

While standards of living have improved, Uighurs complain that most of the gains go to the Han.

This tension has triggered sporadic bouts of violence in Xinjiang, a resource-rich and strategically vital region bordering eight countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Hindu reported:

Pan Zhiping, director of the Institute of Central Asia at the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times following the Hotan attack that in cities in southern Xinjiang close to China’s western border faced a “risk of being influenced by terrorists groups such as the ETIM”.

Mr. Pan told Xinhua on Monday overseas groups traditionally trained members for bombings before sending them to Xinjiang, but “more are using the Internet to penetrate the border”.

Zhao Gancheng, a South Asia scholar at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told The Hindu in a recent interview that the ETIM movement was “very active on the soil of Pakistan”.

He said relations between China and Pakistan, “all-weather” strategic allies, were unlikely to be greatly strained by the terror factor, and both countries had kept “good communications on this issue” and were working to boost counter-terrorism cooperation.

IBN Live carried this news:

Hours after China blamed militants trained in Pakistan for an attack in the restive Xinjiang region, Islamabad today said it would extend “full cooperation” to Beijing in countering the rebels of the East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).”Pakistan will continue to extend its full cooperation and support to the government of the People’s Republic of China against the ETIM,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said in a brief statement.Responding to a question on the attack at Kashgar city in Xinjiang region, Janjua said “all incidents of terrorism are deplorable”.”Pakistan is fully confident that the patriotic people of Xinjiang autonomous region of… China and, in particular, Kashgar, as well as the Chinese government, will succeed in frustrating evil designs of the terrorists, extremists and separatists, who constitute an evil force,” she said.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

August 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

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