China vows to crush ETIM terrorists trained in Pak

China vows to crush ETIM terrorists trained in Pak

A day after attacks by ETIM terrorists claimed 22 lives in the province, Chairman of the Xinjiang regional government Nur Bekri said that the authorities would go all out to counter the violence and terrorist suspects would be given severe punishments.

For the first time, China has blamed Uygur "militants" trained in Pakistan for the deadly violence. The authorities classified Sunday's attack as an act of terrorism and blamed ETIM for engineering the attack, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Bekri, while visiting the injured in hospitals in Kashghar city, called on Han and Uygur ethnic groups to unite in the face of tragedy. About 22 people, including two ETIM suspects, were killed in different incidents since Saturday in which militants armed with knives and daggers attacked Han settlers in Kashghar city, located close to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, (PoK).

Xinjiang's capital Urumqi witnessed massive riots against Hans in 2009, that left almost 200 people dead. In two violent incidents last weekend, 14 civilians and six militants were killed in Kashgar, throwing the city into panic.

On Sunday, six civilians were killed, and 15 others -- including three policemen --  were injured after attackers set fire to a restaurant and started randomly killing civilians on a major shopping street.

Meanwhile, there was still no word here about the reported visit of ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha to Beijing for talks with Chinese officials. The Pakistan government yesterday said it will continue to extend full cooperation and support to China against the ETIM.

Memtieli Tiliwaldi, 29 and Turson Hasan, 34, who were wanted in connection with the latest violence in Xinjiang province, were killed yesterday in the corn fields in the suburb of Kashgar, local officials said.

The attacks appeared to have abated since yesterday as the Chinese forces beefed up security all over the volatile province which has been witnessing ethnic tensions. In a related development, the official Chinese media today made a prominent mention of the Kashghar government’s allegations that the militants were trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan.

"A preliminary probe found that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was behind the explosion at the weekend," the China Daily said in its editorial, 'Fight against terrorism'.

"The leaders of the group learned terrorist techniques in ETIM camps in Pakistan before they penetrated into Xinjiang," it said, calling for stepping up the fight against terrorism in the troubled province.

Another English daily, the 'Global Times' carried the official statement that "those captured said the group's leaders had learned how to make explosives and firearms in camps run by the terrorist group ETIM in Pakistan before entering Xinjiang to organize terrorist activities. Mainstream Chinese language media also pointed fingers at terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

It is perhaps rare for Pakistan to get bad publicity in the Chinese media, considering the close and "all weather relations" between the two countries. It is also the first time that China has directly mentioned Pakistan’s terror camps while referring to the violence in Xinjing.

Local Chinese reports said that infuriated Han residents in Kashghar wanted to hold a demonstration, calling on the government to sternly deal with the attacks.
However, "the square was blocked" and flooded with heavily armed police.

In its editorial, the China Daily said it is wrong and misleading to interpret the violent incidents in Xinjiang as ethnic conflicts. The paper underlined that people from different ethnic groups have been coexisting peacefully in the region for many years.

"The social stability and the lives of local residents would not have been so brutally disrupted were it not for the terrorist acts of the ETIM, an international terrorist organisation which is said to be the most violent and dangerous among the East Turkistan separatist forces," the daily said.

The said social turmoil and public panic are exactly what the ETIM wants to achieve in Xinjiang It said no matter what ethnic group people belong to, very few residents want their peaceful lives disrupted by explosions, riots and attacks against innocent people.

"Most are well aware that more terrorist attacks there are, the more ordinary people will suffer," the editorial stressed. The daily asked the authorities to show "no leniency" to separatist activities and extremist forces.

"The government should make every effort to crack down on groups that employ terror tactics as a means to materialise their ambition of splitting a country or fanning extremist sentiments," it underlined.