Posts tagged ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’

12/01/2015

Police in China shoot dead six in restive Xinjiang | Reuters

A group of “mobsters” on Monday tried to set off an explosive device in a business district in China‘s troubled western region of Xinjiang, prompting police to shoot six of them dead, the local government said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in resource-rich Xinjiang, strategically located on the borders of central Asia, in violence in the past two years between the Muslim Uighur people who call the region home and ethnic majority Han Chinese.

The government has also blamed attacks elsewhere in China, including Beijing, on Islamist militants from Xinjiang.

Monday’s violence came two months after 15 people were killed when a group threw explosives into a crowded street of vendors selling food in Xinjiang.

Police in Shule county, south of the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, had acted on a tip-off about “a suspicious person carrying an explosive device”, the Xinjiang government said on its official news website.

An axe-wielding individual tried to attack police officers and set off an explosive device, prompting the officers to shoot him, the government said.

via Police in China shoot dead six in restive Xinjiang | Reuters.

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15/12/2014

About 300 Chinese said fighting alongside Islamic State in Middle East | Reuters

About 300 Chinese people are fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Monday, a rare tally that is likely to fuel worry in China that militants pose a threat to security.

China has expressed concern about the rise of Islamic State in the Middle East, nervous about the effect it could have on its Xinjiang region. But it has also shown no sign of wanting to join U.S. efforts to use military force against the group.

Chinese members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) are traveling to Syria via Turkey to join the Islamic State, also known as IS, the Global Times, a tabloid run by China’s ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, said.

“According to information from various sources, including security officers from Iraq’s Kurdish region, Syria and Lebanon, around 300 Chinese extremists are fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria,” the Global Times reported.

via About 300 Chinese said fighting alongside Islamic State in Middle East | Reuters.

12/12/2014

China’s Development of Xinjiang Spurs Resentment from Uighurs – Businessweek

Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang in China, is a cold and forbidding place to visit in late November. The red and blue flashing lights of police vehicles are everywhere. Soldiers wearing black masks and carrying automatic weapons are spread across the city, often standing next to squat black and white armored vehicles. Every commercial building, hotel, and government office has a metal detector manned by a police officer at its entrance. Fliers scattered around the city explain why women should not wear veils.

Xinjiang’s first high-speed railway, which will be 1,776 kilometers long

Perched on the edge of Central Asia, the region of Xinjiang (“new frontier” in Mandarin) has long presented a dilemma for China’s leaders. It’s home to some of the country’s largest oil, gas, and coal reserves. But its ethnically Turkic, Uighur Muslim inhabitants have long chafed under Chinese rule: Many pro-independence fighters over the decades have attacked Chinese targets, and the violence—what some credit to a shadowy group called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement—continues to this day. Beijing labels the ETIM’s members as terrorists.

This year growing anger with Uighurs over what they say is economic discrimination and religious oppression sparked attacks, usually against Chinese residents, that have killed 200 people and undermined Beijing’s control over the region. On Dec. 8, authorities sentenced eight Uighurs to death for their role in two attacks killing 42 at a train station and an Urumqi market in the spring.

via China’s Development of Xinjiang Spurs Resentment from Uighurs – Businessweek.

29/07/2014

Police shoot dead dozens of attackers during mob violence in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post

Police in Xinjiang shot dead dozens of knife-wielding attackers on Monday morning after they staged assaults on two towns in the westerly Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local police.

china_xinjiang_explosion_tok101_43157649.jpg

Describing the incident as a “premeditated terror attack,” the official Xinhua news agency said a gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku, a township in Kashgar prefecture, and then some of them moved on to nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed.

Dozens of civilians were killed or injured in the attack before police responded by shooting dead dozens of attackers, official media reported.

Citing local police, Xinhua said dozens of civilians of both Uygur and Han ethnicities were killed or injured, while police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.

Over 30 cars were vandalised, some of which were set on fire, the report said.

Earlier this month, the regional capital Urumqi marked the fifth anniversary of the 2009 riot that left 197 people dead and about 17,000 others injured, mostly Han Chinese.

The turbulent region has since seen a series of violent incidents that have left many people dead or injured, including last May’s bombing of a market in Urumqi that left dozens dead and prompted a clampdown by authorities.

In the immediate wake of that bombing, which came just weeks after a blast at an Urumqi rail station left three dead, China launched one-year “anti-terror” campaign in Xinjiang in which hundreds of suspects have been arrested and large amounts of explosives and explosive devices have been seized, according to local media.

On June 17, authorities executed 13 people and sentencing three others to death for their role in terror attacks and related crimes in Xinjiang, including an attack on government facilities and police stations in the oasis city of Turpan on June 26 last year that left 24 police officers and civilians dead.

China’s heavy-handed approach has drawn concerns that many of the region’s Uygurs, including vocal critics and people linked to the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, have been arrested and indefinitely detained without trial, while others have disappeared without trace.

Uygurs in Xinjiang and those in self-exile abroad have long complained that discrimination and restrictions on religion, such as a ban on taking children to mosques, are fuelling anger at the Han Chinese majority.

via Police shoot dead dozens of attackers during mob violence in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post.

02/01/2014

China denounces U.S. for sending Uighur ‘terrorists’ to Slovakia | Reuters

China\’s Foreign Ministry criticized the United States on Thursday for sending the last three Uighur Chinese inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Slovakia, saying they were \”terrorists\” who posed a real security danger.

Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper are the last of 22 Muslim minority Chinese nationals to be moved from the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, according to the Pentagon.

Slovakia\’s Interior Ministry confirmed that it would take in the three. Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people from China\’s far western region of Xinjiang.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the three were members of the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which Beijing labels a terror group.

\”They are genuine terrorists. They not only threaten China\’s security, they will threaten the security of the country that receives them,\” he told a daily news briefing.

\”China hopes that the relevant country … does not give asylum to terrorists, and sends them back to China as soon as possible.\”

Qin added that China did not appreciate a recent U.S. State Department call for Chinese security forces to exercise restraint following the latest outbreak of violence in Xinjiang, also blamed by Beijing on \”terrorists\”.

\”These remarks neglect the facts and are feeble,\” he said. \”We urge the United States to abandon their double standards when it comes to terrorism, and immediately stop saying one thing and doing another, to avoid sending the wrong message to violent terrorist forces.\”

via China denounces U.S. for sending Uighur ‘terrorists’ to Slovakia | Reuters.

01/12/2013

Xinjiang college says approved political views needed to graduate | Reuters

College students in China\’s restive western Xinjiang region will not graduate unless their political views are approved, a university official said, as the country wages what school administrators called an ideological war against separatism.

A Uighur student attends a lesson at the Xinjiang College of Uighur Medicine in Hotan in the southwestern part of China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region September 15, 2003. REUTERS/Andrew Wong

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur ethnic group, many of whom resent controls imposed by Beijing and an inflow of Han Chinese migrants. Some Uighur groups are campaigning for an independent homeland for their people.

University officials from Xinjiang said their institutions were a frontline in a \”life and death struggle\” for the people\’s hearts and a main front in the battle against separatism, the ruling Communist Party\’s official newspaper in the region, the Xinjiang Daily, reported on Tuesday.

\”Students whose political qualifications are not up to par must absolutely not graduate, even if their professional course work is excellent,\” said Xu Yuanzhi, the party secretary at Kashgar Teachers College in southern Xinjiang, which has been an epicenter for ethnic unrest.

It is unclear if such a policy has been officially implemented throughout the region.

\”Ideology is a battlefield without gun smoke,\” Xinjiang Normal University President Weili Balati said.

\”As university leaders, we have the responsibility to do more to help students and teachers properly understand and treat religion, ethnicity and culture and help them distinguish between right and wrong,\” he said.

China blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) for an attack on October 28, when a vehicle ploughed through bystanders on Tiananmen Square in Beijing and burst into flames, killing three people in the car and two bystanders.

Uighur exiles, rights groups and some experts have cast doubt on the official accounts of what China has deemed terror attacks and foreign reporting of the incident has discussed whether it was motivated by punitive ethnic policies.

An Islamist militant group has released a speech claiming responsibility for the incident, which China\’s Foreign Ministry said should silence those who are skeptical about the threat of terror within China\’s borders.

The Uighurs are culturally closer to ethnic groups across central Asia and Turkey than the Han Chinese who make up the vast majority of China\’s population.

via Xinjiang college says approved political views needed to graduate | Reuters.

01/11/2013

Tiananmen crash ‘incited by Islamists’ – BBC News

China\’s top security official says a deadly crash in Beijing\’s Tiananmen Square was incited by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

The crash occurred on Monday when a car ploughed into a crowd then burst into flames, killing three people inside the vehicle and two tourists.

Police have arrested five suspects, all from the western region of Xinjiang, home to minority Uighur Muslims.

Security has also been tightened in Xinjiang, which borders Central Asia.

China often blames the ETIM group for incidents in Xinjiang. But the BBC correspondent in Beijing says few believe that the group has any capacity to carry out any serious acts of terror in China.

Uighur groups claim China uses ETIM as an excuse to justify repressive security in Xinjiang.

via BBC News – Tiananmen crash ‘incited by Islamists’.

09/06/2012

* China Signals Interest in Afghanistan

NY Times: “In a sign of China’s growing interest in neighboring Afghanistan after the departure of the United States and NATO led forces, President Hu Jintao met the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, in the Great Hall of the People on Friday and announced a new strategic partnership between the two countries.

Mr. Karzai was given special attention this week at the summit meeting of the Shanghai

English: Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a su...

Cooperation Organization, a group of six countries organized by China that includes Russia and Central Asian nations bordering Afghanistan. China is trying to ensure that a Muslim separatist group in a western region does not benefit from the Taliban when Western forces leave Afghanistan.

In a joint statement, China and Afghanistan said they would step up cooperation in security and the fight against terrorism, as well as increase intelligence sharing. No specifics were given.

A modest $23 million aid grant for unspecified projects that accompanied the new partnership indicated that despite concerns about the stability of Afghanistan after 2014, when most United States and allied troops are expected to be gone, China had no immediate plans to play a major development role.

This was Mr. Karzai’s fifth, and most prominent, visit to China. No Chinese leader has been to Afghanistan since the 1958 visit of Prime Minister Zhou Enlai. China’s major worry is the prospect of a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan lending sanctuary to the separatist group, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, led by ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim people in the autonomous western region of Xinjiang. The group wants a breakaway homeland in Xinjiang.

via China Signals Interest in Afghanistan – NYTimes.com.

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