World Bulletin / News Desk
China's domestic security chief believes a fatal vehicle crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in which five died was planned by a Muslim Uighur group.
Meng Jianzhu, a member of the 25-member Politburo responsible for domestic security, said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement was behind the attack.
This is the first time Beijing has accused the group of carrying out the attack.
On Monday, an SUV ploughed through bystanders on the edge of the capital's iconic Tiananmen Squareand burst into flames, killing the three people in the car and two bystanders, in what the government called a terrorist attack.
Beijing police have arrested five people. Security has been strengthened in both Beijing and in Xinjiang(East Tuıkistan), the restive far western region the Uighurs call home.
"This violent terrorist incident that's happened in Beijing was organised and premeditated," Meng told Hong Kong's Phoenix TV, in comments carried by the official Xinhua news agency on Friday.
"The group that stood behind the scenes inciting it was the East Turkestan Islamic Movement,"
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was facing a clear danger from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which she added also operated outside of the country.
"Members of the organisation have for a long time engaged in terrorist acts in South Asia, Central Asia,West Asia and other regions. It has links to many international extremist terrorist groups," she told a daily news briefing.
"It is China's most direct and realistic security threat."
Exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer told Reuters this week that caution should be exercised over the government's account, adding she did not believe any kind of organised Islamic movement was operating in Xinjiang.
The Uighur declared independence in October 1933 but the region went under the control of communist China in 1949.
There has been immigration of Han Chinese, a majority ethnic group to East Asia, which subduedUighur influence in the region and made them a minority.
Muslim Uighur have complained that China has restrained Uighurs' religious, commercial and cultural activities.
Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2013, 14:35