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United against terrorism

China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-27 06:49

It is horrible, despicable and unbearable.

Terrorists slaughtered 17 people, including nine policemen and security guards and eight civilians, before police opened fire and killed 10 of them in a remote township of Shanshan county, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Wednesday. Initial reports added that according to local officials three rioters were arrested and several others have been admitted to hospital.

It is the second terrorist attack in less than three months in this western autonomous region. Fifteen community workers and policemen were killed and six terrorists were shot dead in the previous attack in April.

Since the 2009 deadly unrest in the region's capital city Urumqi, which left 197 dead, the regional government has put the fight against the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism, and extremism high on its agenda. But the violent attack on Wednesday is a bloody reminder that the region and the country as a whole face a difficult task fighting the three evils.

Xinjiang is home to 47 ethnic groups, and the peaceful coexistence of people from all groups is necessary if everyone in the region is to live happily and prosper.

The terrorists, separatists and extremists perpetrate violent acts to sow the seeds of hatred and fear among local residents in order to facilitate their own selfish goals. And such incidents undoubtedly disrupt the normal lives of local residents and have a negative impact on the development of the local economy, as well as claiming the lives of innocent people.

The strikingly similar manner of the latest terrorist attack to the previous one means it is difficult to see them as isolated incidents. While finding out the truth about this specific attack, investigators should pay close attention to the wider background factors. Since past cases have indicated links with overseas terrorist cells, the current probe should leave no such potential links unscrutinized and unaddressed in order to prevent more loss of life.

Both the central and local governments should also spare no efforts in ensuring that there are no terrorist cells in our country.

Meanwhile, the police and residents should be on the alert against any more attacks.

Local people of different ethnic groups should continue to take a firm and united stand to crush the sinful brutality of those who seek their own gains at the cost of harmonious coexistence.

(China Daily 06/27/2013 page8)

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