Chinese police have broken up a criminal gang which made explosives in the restive far western region of Xinjiang, state media reported on Wednesday, claiming that the action had prevented an attack.
On July 5, 197 people, mostly majority Han Chinese, died during riots in the regional capital Urumqi by Uighurs, a Muslim people native to Xinjiang. The riots occurred after Uighurs protested against Uighur deaths at the hands of their Han Chinese coworkers at a factory in southern China.
Police detained six suspects and captured a "great amount" of explosive materials, Xinhua news agency said, without saying where or when the detentions occurred.
Xinhua named two of the suspects. It did not give their ethnicity but the names appeared to be Uighur.
Tension in Urumqi have not eased since July. Han Chinese demonstrated earlier this month, demanding the resignation of the regional party secretary for failing to guarantee security after police warnings of syringe attacks panicked the city.
Reports of "needle attacks" have spread to other cities in Xinjiang as well as Han Chinese cities in inner China.
Police in Xi'an, capital of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, detained a Han Chinese man, aged 26, after he was accused of jabbing a college girl with a skewer used for candied fruits, the Xi'an Evening Post reported, in a report that appeared to originate from the city police.
Both the Xi'an police office and the Shaanxi information office denied the report as well as any knowledge of needle attacks in the city.