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Police station raided in west China, terrorists suspected
Updated: 2008-08-04 13:57

URUMQI -- The raid on a border armed police division, which killed 16 policemen and injured 16 others, in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Monday morning, was suspected as a terrorist attack, according to police.

The public security department in Xinjiang confirmed that the raid occurred in the front of the Yijin Hotel, which is at the right side of the police division yard in China's western most city of Kashi, 1,400 km southwest of Xinjiang's capital Urumqi.

Two attackers drove a tip lorry to hit a team of policemen who were jogging through the street in a morning exercise at about 8:00 a.m., police witnesses said.

Fourteen policemen were killed on the spot and two others died on the way to hospital.

The two attackers got off the lorry after the vehicle veered to hit a roadside wire pole. They threw home-made explosives to the barracks, causing explosion. They also hacked the policemen with knives.

The police said the two attackers had been arrested, and one got a leg injury in the raid.

Police found debris of five explosives in the division yard.

The regional public security department said it had got intelligence that the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" planned to make terrorist attacks during Aug. 1-8, just ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Chinese police foiled an attempted sabotage instigated and conducted by the "Eastern Turkistan" separatists on board a Southern Airlines flight in March. Three suspects detained by police fully admitted that the attack was masterminded.

The "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" was one of the main security worries to the Olympics, which also include separatist forces for "Tibet independence", and the Falun Gong cult, according to Tian Yixiang, a senior PLA commander and also a security chief for the Games.

Kurexi Maihesuti, vice chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government, told a press conference in Beijing last week that Xinjiang police had cracked five terrorism groups in the first half of 2008, detaining 82 suspected terrorists who allegedly plotted sabotage against the Olympics.

The Olympic Games would be a target for various anti-China and hostile forces, which are trying every possible way to sabotage the event, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said last month.