World Bulletin/News Desk
Chinese police in the far western region of Xinjiang (East Turkestan) have taken down 23 "terror and religious extremism groups" and caught more than 200 suspects in May, state media said.
China has announced year-long "anti-terrorism" operations in Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, as well as nationwide, following a series of bloody incidents that Beijing blames on "separatists" from the region.
Police busted the groups in the southern Xinjiang prefectures of Hotan, Kashgar and Aksu and seized more than 200 explosive devices in raids, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday.
Many of those captured were in their 20s and 30s, and had learned how to make explosives by watching online videos, Xinhua said.
"They exchanged their experiences of making explosives and propagating jihad through chatting tools, text messages and illegal preaching sites," the news agency said, citing the regional public security department.
China has said five bombers carried out an attack at a morning vegetable market in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi on Thursday, which killed 31 people and injured 94.
Beijing claims that separatist groups in Xinjiang are seeking to form their own state.
But exiles and rights groups say the real cause of the unrest in the resource-rich region bordering central Asia is China's repressive policies that put curbs on Islam and the culture of Uighurs, Muslims who speak a Turkic language.
Uighurs have long complained of official discrimination in favour of the Han, China's majority ethnic group.
Thursday's attack came two days after courts in Xinjiang sentenced 39 people to prison. Among those convicted Tuesday was 25-year-old Maimaitiniyazi Aini, who received five years in prison for inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination for comments he made in six chat groups involving 1,310 people, the Supreme Court said.
In another case, a Uighur man was jailed for 15 years after he preached resistance to his son and another young man, according to the court.Last Mod: 26 Mayıs 2014, 11:06