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Xinjiang facing security threats

THE security situation in China's far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will be more difficult this year, the regional governor said in Beijing yesterday.

"The (security) situation will be more severe, the task more arduous, and the struggle more fierce in the region this year," said Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the autonomous region, which is home to more than 10.96 million people from ethnic minorities, including Uygur, Mongolian and Hui.

"It's a time of celebration for Xinjiang people but hostile forces will not give up such an opportunity to sabotage," said Nur Bekri.

He said a lot of security work was done before last year's Beijing Olympics but "this year's fight against the 'three forces' of separatists, terrorists and extremists is more arduous."

In December the Intermediate People's Court of Kashgar sentenced two terrorists over the August 4 attack that killed 17 and injured 15.

Six days later a string of explosions in the region's Kuqa County left dead a security guard and a civilian.

Police said in the first half of 2008 they uncovered five terrorist groups and detained 82 suspected terrorists.

In October the police published the names of eight alleged terrorists belonging to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, the Allah Party or the East Turkistan National Revolution Association.


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