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Bombings rock China's Xinjiang; eight dead, four injured
Updated: 2008-08-10 08:33

URUMQI -- Security was tightened on Sunday in Kuqa County in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region after several bombs killed seven bombers and a security guard early in the morning, the regional government said.

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Two police and two civilians were also injured in the attacks against a range of official facilities, which officials said involved at least 15 people and 12 explosions of gas-based pipe bombs.

The county, which is about 740 kilometers from the regional capital of Urumqi, was cordoned off and all institutions and enterprises were ordered to close, local police said.

Few pedestrians could be seen on the streets, and there were public security personnel at every intersection.

A few taxis were still running but passengers had to undergo security checks and questioning before taking them, and the movement of private vehicles was tightly restricted in and out of the county.

The attacks began at 2:30 am, when a three-wheeled vehicle carrying explosive devices drove into the yard of the county public security bureau and an explosion went off, a regional government spokesman said.

The bombing killed a security guard, injured two police officers and two civilians, and destroyed two police cars.

Police shot one of the bombers dead and captured one at the scene. One bomber killed himself and another was seriously hurt.

At 8:20 am, police found five bombers hiding under a market counter. They tossed home-made explosives at the police, who shot two of them dead. The other three blew themselves up.

According to the attacker captured in the initial incident at the public security bureau, there were 15 people involved in the attacks.

The bombers attacked the local government, public security bureau and the economic and trade committee with explosive devices. Police said they were aware of 12 bombings in the county.

According to initial investigation, the devices were made of pipes, gas canisters and liquid gas tanks. Police seized a taxi that the attackers used for the bombings.

Kuqa has a population of about 400,000.