China busts 181 terror groups in Xinjiang
Beijing: China has busted 181 terror groups in Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, authorities said today, a year after the
controversial anti- terror campaign was launched in the province bordering countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
As of April 30 this year, 181 violent terror gangs were destroyed, with 96.2 percent being thwarted at the planning phase. 112 suspects surrendered to the police, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing data of the publicity office of the ruling Communist Party of China.
The anti-terror campaign was launched after 39 people were killed in last May bombings at a market in Urumqi, the capital of the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Ever since the crackdown was launched, fewer incidents of violence were reported in recent months.
In addition to terror activities, the police have also clamped down on religious extremism and video and audio clips propagating terrorism, as well as intensified crackdowns on illegal border crossings, the report said.
Xinjiang, home to over 10 million of the mainly Muslim Uighur minority, share its border with Afghanistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Alleged Islamist separatists, after undergoing training in Pakistan’s tribal areas, are said to infiltrate back to China.
Pakistan has stepped up aerial and ground operations on the training bases in the last few months.
Xinjiang has witnessed surge in violence in recent years following resentment among Uygurs over increasing settlements of Han Chinese from other provinces.
To weaken the clout of “religious extremism”, local authorities have vigorously promoted modern living in the region by banning the Burqa, an Islamic garment that covers women’s faces, and instead wearing colorful traditional dress, the Xinhua report said.
Residents from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have constituted an important force in fighting terrorism, as the police have solved 81 terror cases based on tip-offs during the campaign, the Xinhua report said.