Monday, September 22, 2014

China 2 killed, Multiple explosions

China says 2 killed, many injured in explosions
At least two people were killed and many more injured in a series of explosions in China’s restive western region of Xinjiang on Sunday, state media reported.

The explosions happened at about 5 p.m. Sunday in at least three places of Luntai county, according to a report on the Tianshan news portal, which is run by the regional branch of the Communist Party. Luntai county is in central Xinjiang, 360 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of the capital, Urumqi.
The report did not identify the explosions, which appeared to be coordinated attacks, as acts of terrorism.
"Public security officers quickly handled the situation," it said, without giving details.

The brief statement said the unspecified number of injured had been taken to hospital and an investigation was under way.
Authorities said that on July 28 a terrorist gang attacked a police station and government buildings in Shache county near Kashgar, killing 37 people before police shot dead 59 of the attackers.

Two days later, a leading pro-government Muslim cleric was murdered in a Kashgar mosque.
State media reported Sunday that Communist Party officials in Xinjiang had punished 17 officials and police officers for their failure
“The local social order was normal,” the report said, indicating that there was no further unrest following the explosions.s relating to the two July incidents.

More than half of the county’s 113,000 residents are ethnic Uygurs, according to local census information.
He Limin, the party chief of Shache county, was stripped of his party position and demoted, and the deputy party chief and county police chief were both fired.

Restrictive religious policies and a general wealth gap between Han Chinese residents and Uygurs have in recent years fanned ethnic tensions in the region. Beijing has repeatedly accused the East Turkestan Islamic movement and other overseas terrorist organizations of instigating and carrying out terror attacks which have killed hundreds of civilians.
The explosions occurred on the day China’s highest court, top prosecution office and the Ministry of Public Security, which handles policing, issued instructions to their subsidiary organs throughout the country on how to deal with cases of terrorism and religious extremism, describing them as a “grave threat” to national security and social stability.

The instructions, released on their websites, called on court officials, prosecutors and police to distinguish between the illegal acts of religious extremists and ordinary religious activities.

Officials should avoid discriminating against religions or ethnic minorities, interfering with citizens’ freedom to practice their religion and should respect the personal dignity of criminal suspects and defendants, according to the instructions.

Leniency should be given to criminals who surrender and provide testimony, the guidelines read. Criminals who have not caused great harm and have expressed remorse for their actions should be exempted from punishment.

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