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Whoever they are, wherever they are, and with whatever it takes, there has to be decisive moves to wipe out terrorist cells in the country.
The violent attacks by suspected terrorists in Kashgar, southern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Tuesday, which left 15 community workers and police dead as well as six suspected terrorists, is another bloody reminder that terrorist threats remain a clear and present danger in the country's northwestern region.
The suspects, eight more of whom were captured, were armed and organized and planning violent attacks. Had they not been uncovered, it is hard to imagine what havoc they would have wreaked.
Since the 2009 riot in the region's capital, Urumqi, which left 197 dead, the local government has been working hard to deal with the threats from separatist, terrorist and extremist forces. While the overall situation in Xinjiang remains stable, Tuesday's violence tells us the battle against the "three evil forces" is still severe and challenging.
Previous violent incidents in Kashgar have all been traced to three evil forces, and overseas separatists, extremists and terrorists have also been found taking advantage of modern communication technologies, such as the Internet, to instigate unrest in Xinjiang.
There has been evidence of infiltration of terrorist organizations from neighboring countries, some of which have even been found to have links with al-Qaida.
The country should spare no effort to crack down on the three evil forces in Xinjiang and show no mercy to anyone engaging in separatist activities or sowing the seeds of fear.
The acts of sabotage by separatists, extremists and terrorists are cruel and violent, but nonetheless, no intimidation should compromise the nation's determination to preserve peace in the region.
In recent years, Xinjiang has witnessed rapid economic growth and improvements in people's livelihoods. But all this will be in jeopardy and further gains out of the question if the three evil forces are allowed to make more trouble.
Containing and preventing violent activities should be the top priority for the local government at present.
Xinjiang has seen too much violence in the past few years. It is time to make a difference. Maintaining stability in Xinjiang is important not only for the area but for the nation at large.
(China Daily 04/25/2013 page8)