|Govt says bomb material seized in Xinjiang
Police in China's Xinjiang have seized 1.8 tonnes of bombmaking material and detained five people, authorities said Tuesday, following a string of deadly attacks blamed on militants from the Muslim Uighur homeland.
China at the weekend vowed a year-long crackdown on terrorism, with violence attributed to separatists from Xinjiang increasingly targeting civilians and spreading far outside the western region in recent months, AFP reports.
Last week five suspects killed 39 people and wounded more than 90 in a car and bomb assault on a market in the regional capital Urumqi, in an attack condemned as terrorism by both Beijing and Washington. Four of the attackers also died.
Officers in and around Hotan in southern Xinjiang "destroyed two explosive-making dens and seized 1.8 tonnes of raw material that the gang planned to use to make explosive devices, along with a large amount of partly finished explosive devices'', reported the regional government's Tianshan website.
In recent days the group began making explosive devices with the goal of ''driving into a crowded place, running people over and setting off bombs'' in Hotan, it said.
The gang had watched videos promoting terrorism and religious extremism, it added, and said the group's leader had instructed members to acquire materials from Urumqi and elsewhere in China.
On April 30, the final day of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the region, attackers armed with knives and explosives killed one person and wounded 79 at an Urumqi railway station.
In March knifemen killed 29 people and wounded 143 at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming, an incident dubbed "China's 9/11'' by state media.