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Terror alert issued for Xinjiang after several attacks

2011/08/04 17:30:08

Taipei, Aug. 4 (CNA) Travelers to China's remote province of Xinjiang should exercise extreme caution as the region has experienced a new spree of violence in recent days, the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Thursday.

Citing Chinese media reports, the MAC said in a statement that on July 30, two bombs shook the streets of the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang.

An hour after the blasts, two attackers hijacked a truck on a nearby street, killed its driver, and then driving it into a crowd of pedestrians. The attackers then got out of the truck and began stabbing people who were passing by.

The incident left seven dead and 28 others injured, according to the statement.

Less than 24 hours later, a bigger group of men carried out a second attack in which six people were killed and 28 others injured.

The MAC statement said that although the two latest incidents were smaller in scale than an attack by Muslim Uighurs on the province's Hetian City police station on July 18, they were even more detrimental and more terrible because the attackers targeted innocent civilians.

Most of the casualties in all the incidents were members of the Han Chinese ethnic group. The Kashgar area has since been on tightened security, with armed police patrolling major city streets, the statement said.

With terror attacks in Xinjiang spreading from targeting military and police personnel to ordinary people, Taiwan's top China policy planner advised local people intending to travel to the region to be mindful of news updates and their own safety.

Xinjiang is home to millions of Muslim Uighurs, who are angry about what they say has been decades of repressive rule by Beijing and the unwanted migration of China's dominant Han ethnic group into their territory.

(By Chen Hung-chin and Sofia Wu)