Two presumed terrorists crashed a truck bomb into a state police station Monday and threw two grenades, killing 16 policemen and wounding 16 others. It wasn’t in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor was the attack even in the Middle East. This was in China.
Chinese officials have warned that Uighur extremists with links to foreign-based Islamist extremist organizations pose the greatest security threat to the Beijing Olympic Games.
The attack killed patrol troops from the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force responsible for putting down riots, guarding embassies and safeguarding the border. Last month, police in the regional capital killed five Uighurs in a raid on an apartment. Authorities accused them of preparing a holy war against Chinese rule.
Chinese authorities have identified the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a key terrorist group in this situation. The Washington Post reports in its coverage of today’s bombing that China executed three people in the restive Xinjiang region July 9 convicted of being East Turkestan Islamic Movement members. The Uighur population is overwhelmingly Muslim seeks to break away from Chinese rule.
In April China announced that it had broken up two Uighur terrorist cells plotting to kidnap foreigners and bomb hotels during the Olympics. 45 people were arrested and accused of ties to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.