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China detains 82 'terrorists'

Chinese police have this year detained 82 suspected terrorists in the nation's Muslim-populated far northwest who were planning to attack the Beijing Olympics, state media reported on Thursday.

world Updated: Jul 10, 2008 12:43 IST

Chinese police have this year detained 82 suspected terrorists in the nation's Muslim-populated far northwest who were planning to attack the Beijing Olympics, state media reported on Thursday.

The 82 belonged to five groups that "allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics," Xinhua news agency reported, citing the head of the police in Urumqi, the capital of remote Xinjiang region that borders central Asia.

It was the first time that Chinese officials had given a total number for suspects detained in a series of raids this year.

Exiled members of Xinjiang's Turkic-speaking Uighur population have denied that such a terrorist threat exists in the region.

They have accused the Chinese government of exaggerating or fabricating the threat as an excuse to crack down on all forms of dissent ahead of next month's Games.

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