China deploys anti-terror unit in Xinjiang | world | Hindustan Times
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China deploys anti-terror unit in Xinjiang

world Updated: Aug 15, 2011 11:14 IST

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China has deployed an elite counter terrorism unit in the country's restive western Xinjiang province where attacks by East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants last month left at least 22 people dead.

The Snow Leopard Commando unit has moved into southern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region to make the region more secure following a terrorist attack last month, local armed police was quoted as saying by government-run China Daily newspaper on Monday.

A spokesperson on condition of anonymity said the Snow Leopard Commando unit is expected to carry out anti-terrorism missions in both Kashgar and Hotan, the scene of other recent violence, ahead of the five day China-Eurasia Expo from September 1.

The anti-terrorism force is being stationed at Aksu, some 460-km from Kashgar, where some 22 people, including two ETIM suspects, were killed in different attacks on Han settlers in the region located close to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

China has vowed to crush the ETIM militants trained in Pakistan even as the state media highlighted their role in fomenting militancy in the strategic Xinjiang province.

Earlier this month, Chairman of the Xinjiang regional government Nur Bekri said that the authorities would go all out to counter the violence and terrorist suspects would be given severe punishments.

For the first time, China has blamed Uygur "militants" trained in Pakistan for the deadly violence.

Xinjiang's capital Urumqi witnessed massive riots against Hans in 2009, that left almost 200 people dead.