Fugitive terror suspect nabbed

Updated: 2013-07-01 00:57

By CUI JIA in Urumqi (China Daily)

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Leaders call for enhanced anti-terror efforts as more details released about latest attack

The only suspect who fled the scene after a terror attack in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region last week was arrested on Sunday, local police said.

A group of terrorists launched the attack on Wednesday in Lukqun township, Turpan prefecture, leaving 35 people dead, including 11 suspected terrorists.

Ahmetniaz Stek, the suspected gang leader, has been allegedly organizing its members for extreme religious activities and instigating people to carry out terror attacks since February, Xinjiang police said.

The 17-member terror group has been raising funds to purchase knives and gasoline since June. They also checked out the routes to and from the places that they planned to attack, the police said.

Acting on a tip, police arrested one member of the group on Tuesday. Ahmetniaz feared that his group might be compromised and decided to launch the attack with the rest of the members the next day, according to the police.

At around 5:50 am on Wednesday, the group attacked the township's police station and government office, as well as a construction site, shops and beauty salons. They also set fire to vehicles and attacked police officers and others with knives.

Of the 24 people they killed, two were women and 16 were Uygurs. Two police officers were also killed. Twenty-one others were injured.

Eleven attackers were shot dead at the scene while four were arrested.

Attacks by terrorists must be halted and neighborhoods must be protected, Zhang Chunxian, Party chief of Xinjiang, said during a conference to officials from around the region on Saturday night. He stressed that efforts must be made to stamp out the root of extremist religious activities.

On April 23, 15 people, including police officers and community workers, were killed by terrorists in Selibuya township, Kashgar prefecture. Police evidence later indicated that the terror group was brainwashed by religious extremists.

Zhang said the anti-terrorism work is extremely important as Xinjiang is facing severe threats from separatists.

Two days after the attack in Lukqun, a group of armed people gathered in Hotan county, Hotan prefecture, at around 3:30 pm, causing unrest on Friday. No casualties were reported.

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