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1.8 tonnes of explosive material seized in Xinjiang

A police officer is seen near a blast scene, which has been cordoned off, in downtown Urumqi on May 22, 2014/XINHUA

A police officer is seen near a blast scene, which has been cordoned off, in downtown Urumqi on May 22, 2014/XINHUA

URUMQI, May 27 – Police in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have seized 1.8 tonnes of material for explosive devices and caught five suspects in a raid, the regional publicity department said Tuesday.

An alleged terror and extremist group led by Abliz Dawut was busted by police in south Xinjiang’s Hotan Prefecture on Monday, the statement from the department said.

Suspects allegedly watched and listened to terror videos and audio and collected material to make explosive devices. The devices were hidden in Hotan.

Abliz and his gang members are suspected of making detonation devices the night after the terror attack on a market in Urumqi on May 22 and premeditating a similar terror attack in crowded locations in Hotan Prefecture, the statement said.

Similar raids were carried out in Aksu, Kashgar and Ili prefectures on Monday, leading to the arrest of a group of suspects allegedly involved in terrorist attacks, the spreading of terror videos and audio, illegal production of explosives and illegal immigration.

Twenty-three terror and religious extremism groups were busted and more than 200 suspects were caught in May in south Xinjiang’s Hotan, Kashgar and Aksu prefectures, the regional public security department said on Sunday.

In 2013, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), listed by the United Nations Security Council as a terrorist group, produced 107 terror videos and audio files, some of which were spread to China, according to Nuriman Rozi, a senior police officer with the regional public security department.

Many of the terror suspects caught in recent years were instigated by the terror videos and audio to carry out terrorist activities, he said.

Xinjiang started a one-year campaign against terrorist violence on Friday. The campaign will last until June 2015 with Xinjiang as the major battleground.

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