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Eight terrorists killed, two blow themselves up in Xinjiang
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08:21, August 11, 2008

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Police in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said eight terrorists who carried out a series of explosions early Sunday were shot dead and two others blew themselves up dead.

The serial explosions occurred in the early hours on Sunday in some supermarkets, hotels and government buildings in Kuqa County, killing a security guard and injuring two policemen, two civilians and a security guard, the Xinjiang Public Security Department said.

Eight terrorists were shot dead by police while two others killed themselves by suicidal bombings, the department said.

Police have arrested two terrorists and are searching three others still at large. Thirteen civilians were rescued and dozens of bomb devices yet to blow up were seized.

Buildings or houses in many sites were damaged in the bombings.

Police and cleaning crews have largely cleared the scenes of the deadly bombings. And the county's public security order had been restored by 7 p.m. Sunday.

A shop owner told Xinhua that the first bombing took place shortly after 2 a.m., when some 20 people were still having cold drinks in front of his shop at the intersection of Jiefang Road and Wenhuazhonglu Road.

"Suddenly there was a big bang, the customers and I just ran away," said the owner, who declined to give his name. "When I looked back, my shop was totally destroyed," he said.

Not far from the shop, the doors and windows of several buildings were damaged, and some residents were evacuated to a nearby school.

A middle-aged Uygur woman, who also did not want to be identified, told Xinhua that she and her family were awakened by the bombings.

"My two daughters and I have to stay at the school, because we are afraid to go back home," she said.

Local police said the attacks against a range of official facilities involved at least 15 people and 12 explosions of gas-based pipe bombs.

All institutions and enterprises in the county, which is about 740 kilometers from the regional capital of Urumqi, were ordered to close after the bombings.

A few taxis were still running but passengers had to undergo security checks and questioning before taking them, and the movement of private vehicles was tightly restricted in and out of the county.

According to the official accounts, the attacks began at 2:30 a.m., when a three-wheeled vehicle carrying explosive devices drove into the yard of the county public security bureau and an explosion went off.

According to the attacker captured in the initial incident at the public security bureau, there were 15 people involved in the attacks.

The bombers attacked the local government, public security bureau and the economic and trade committee with explosive devices. Police said they were aware of 12 bombings in the county.

According to initial investigation, the devices were made of pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks. Police seized a taxi that the attackers used for the bombings.

Kuqa, with a population of about 400,000, is some 740 kilometers southwest of the regional capital Urumqi.

Source: Xinhua

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