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Friend China points to Pakistan as terror source

Is it Pakistan? That’s the question on everyone’s mind after China released rare details of close links between terrorists who allegedly launched attacks inside the restive and remote Xinjiang province and a country in South Asia. Sutirtho Patranobis reports. The usual suspect

world Updated: Apr 07, 2012 02:24 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
China

Is it Pakistan? That’s the question on everyone’s mind after China released rare details of close links between terrorists who allegedly launched attacks inside the restive and remote Xinjiang province and a country in South Asia.

Probably for the first time, the government published photos of six alleged terrorists – all ethnic Muslim Uighurs from Xinjiang who are not in China currently -- and said they were members of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/07_04_pg1a.jpg

State news agency Xinhua said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement was “the most direct and real safety threat that China faces.”

“They have participated in the organisation, and planned and executed terrorist acts against Chinese targets within and outside the country,” the Public Security ministry said in a statement.

The six terrorists were identified as Nurmemet Memetmin, Abdulkyum Kurban, Paruh Tursun, Tursunjan Ebibla, Nurmemet Raxit, and Mamat Imin Nurmamat.

“The ministry hoped that foreign governments and their law enforcing departments would help to arrest the six and hand them over to Chinese authorities,” it said.

Neither the statement nor the foreign ministry in its regular briefing took Pakistan’s name as the country where the six were based.

“The activities of the crime and violence by this group not only seriously threaten China’s national security but also peace security of relevant countries and the region,” Hong Lei, foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Though security forces have cracked down ETIM networks, the group is still disseminating propaganda and inspiring members of the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism who live in China, and attempts to stage terrorist acts,” the ministry said.

According to reports, Nuermaimaiti Maimaitimin had been given a 10-year jail term in 1999 in the unnamed south Asian country, but had escaped in 2006 and then proceeded to send a comrade-in-arms back to Xinjiang where he masterminded an attack last year. Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say China overstates the threat posed by militants in Xinjiang to keep security tight in the region which is rich in natural resources.

Earlier this week, China and Pakistan reaffirmed their all-weather friendship amid declarations by leaders that Beijing’s and Islamabad’s enemies were their mutual foes.

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