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Terrorist plot suspected in violent attack on police in west China's Xinjiang
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19:45, August 04, 2008

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Terrorist plot was suspected in the violent attack targeting border police in China's westernmost city of Kashi, which left at least 16 policemen killed and 16 others injured Monday.

The attack occurred in the front of the Yiquan Hotel, which is nearly 200 meters away from the Kashi border armed police division, Xinhua correspondent reported from Kashi.

The reporter said the police investigation found that two attackers drove a tip lorry to hit a team of policemen who were jogging to pass the hotel in a regular morning exercise at about 8:00 a.m.

The suspects then got off the lorry to throw explosive and hack the policemen with knives, after the vehicle veered to knock on a roadside wire pole, said the Kashi police.

The reporter corrected the previous account of the raid of the border armed police division, saying that the attackers did not break into the division station and the explosion took place outside the station.

Fourteen policemen were killed on the spot and two others died on the way to hospital, according to the police source.

Xinhua reporter saw blood stain left on the sidewalk, although the accident site had been cleaned by police. He also saw a broken wire pole and three tree stubs left from the accident.

No civilians were hurt in the attack so far. Customers in the Yiquan Hotel said that they thought it was a blast, because they were wakened up by an explosion from outside.

The police said the two attackers had been arrested, and one got a leg injury in the raid.

The regional public security department said it had got intelligence that the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" planned to make terrorist attacks during Aug. 1-8, just ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Chinese police foiled an attempted sabotage instigated and conducted by the "Eastern Turkistan" separatists on board a Southern Airlines flight in March. Three suspects detained by police fully admitted that the attack was masterminded.

The "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" was one of the main security worries to the Olympics, which also include separatist forces for "Tibet independence", and the Falun Gong cult, according to Tian Yixiang, a senior PLA commander and also a security chief for the Games.

Kurexi Maihesuti, vice chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government, told a press conference in Beijing last week that Xinjiang police had cracked five terrorism groups in the first half of 2008, detaining 82 suspected terrorists who allegedly plotted sabotage against the Olympics.

The Olympic Games would be a target for various anti-China and hostile forces, which are trying every possible way to sabotage the event, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said last month.

Source: Xinhua

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