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Terror crackdown for Xinjiang

(Xinhua)

08:39, August 09, 2011

The chief official of west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has ordered a harsh crackdown on religious extremists in the region's latest clampdown on terrorism.

Zhang Chunxian, secretary of the Xinjiang regional committee of the Communist Party of China, made the pledge at a regional government meeting last Friday in the wake of a trio of deadly attacks in the region.

Zhang ordered local officials to rely on the public to help them curb illegal religious activities and to crack down on the use of religion to incite violence or organize terrorist attacks.

He said that the managing of religious affairs should follow the central government's policy of "protecting the legitimate, banning the illegal, fighting infiltration and cracking down on crimes."

Nearly 42 percent of Xinjiang's 21 million people are Uygurs, a largely Muslim Chinese ethnic group. The region is considered to be a frontline in China's fight against separatism and terrorism.

Two bloody attacks occurred in the region's city of Kashgar during the last weekend of July, leaving at least 14 civilians killed and 42 others injured. Police killed eight terrorists during the attacks.

The Kashgar violence followed a July 18 terrorist attack targeting a police station in the city of Hotan that left 18 people dead, including 14 terrorists.

Zhang said the focus of the region's current anti-terrorism efforts is to stem the tide of violence and prevent the occurrence of riots triggered by the attacks.

Experts have said the recent Xinjiang violence shows clear signs of religious extremism, which may continue to fuel attacks in the region if it is not checked.

Local media reports quoted Zhang as saying the government meeting was held to ensure the region's anti-terror efforts were in line with the latest instructions from President Hu Jintao and other top leaders.

Zhang said the central leadership had paid great attention to stability in Xinjiang and Hu had given "important instructions" on how to deal with the situation. Last Friday, Zhang also consulted Xinjiang's leading ethnic officials on the management of religious affairs.

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Larrydu at 2011-08-0960.53.49.*
>The chief official of west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has ordered a harsh crackdown on religious extremists]]A strong crackdown, not "harsh crackdown" - a phrase that only gladdens the West's propaganda machine.
  

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