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August 4, 2009

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China foils terrorist plots in Xinjiang

POLICE and state security agencies have prevented five planned terrorist attacks on civilians in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Chinese security sources said yesterday.

Also yesterday, family members publicly condemned Rebiya Kadeer for her role in the deadly July 5 riot.

Separatist "East Turkestan" terrorists at home and abroad have been plotting attacks against civilians since the riot that left 197 dead and more than 1,600 injured in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang, the anti-terrorism sources said.

The attempted attacks would have "damaged social stability and ethnic unity," they added. The five terrorist plots that were crushed were in Urumqi, Kashgar, Aksu and Ili.

Security agencies captured "a group of suspects involved in the terrorist activities," but the number of people arrested was not given.

Authorities also confiscated guns, knives, explosives and material advocating violence. Other details were not released.

Meanwhile, family members of Rebiya Kadeer have written letters condemning her for last month's riot and apologizing to the victims.

In one of the letters, Rebiya's son Khahar, daughter Roxingul and younger brother Memet charged that she "betrayed promises to not take part in separatist activities" and voiced indignation over the riot. Nine other relatives signed the letter.

"Because of you, so many innocent people lost their lives in Urumqi and so many houses, shops and vehicles were burned or damaged," they wrote. "The harmony and unity among ethnic groups was undermined."

Before leaving for the United States, Rebiya promised the government that she would not be engage in separatist activities. "You broke your word," her relatives wrote.

"Please think about the happiness of us and your grandchildren," her family wrote. "Don't destroy the stable and happy life in Xinjiang. Don't follow the provocation from some people in other countries."

People are living a good life in Xinjiang, they told Rebiya.

"There are no differences between ethnic groups as long as you're willing to work hard. There are many Uygur millionaires and countless new buildings in Urumqi, and Uygur people enjoy preferential policies from the government."

They also wrote that the government did not harass them because of her.

"The government treats us very nicely. We are often told, 'Your mother is responsible for things she did. It has nothing to do with you.'"

In another letter to the victims of the unrest, the family members held Rebiya and the World Uygur Congress responsible for the riot.

"Evidence proved the riot was organized by the WUC, led by Rebiya Kadeer, and implemented by a group of separatists within Chinese borders," the letter said.

The family members said that six hours before the riot began, they received a phone call from Rebiya warning them there would be a "big incident."

"We were not involved in the riot. We are innocent, and we are victims as well. As her family members, we are very angry about the riot organized by our mother to separate the country. We feel sorry for the victims and their families," they wrote.


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