A Chinese flag flies outside the east gate of the Old City in Kashgar, Xinjiang. Image used for representational purpose only.(Photo: Bloomberg)
A Chinese flag flies outside the east gate of the Old City in Kashgar, Xinjiang. Image used for representational purpose only.(Photo: Bloomberg)

China now has commandos on horseback to tackle terror in Xinjiang

The elite “Mountain Eagle Commando (MEC)” counter-terror group took part in a drill with military personnel from Kyrgyzstan earlier this month, following which the first-ever report on it was published in one of China’s top state-run newspapers, Cankao Xiaoxi.
By Sutirtho Patranobis | Hindustan Times, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON AUG 21, 2019 05:18 PM IST

China has unveiled a new anti-terrorist commando unit for Xinjiang trained to carry out operations on horseback, days after a government policy paper said there had been no terror attacks in the province for the past three years.

The elite “Mountain Eagle Commando (MEC)” counter-terror group took part in a drill with military personnel from Kyrgyzstan earlier this month, following which the first-ever report on it was published in one of China’s top state-run newspapers, Cankao Xiaoxi or Reference News – run by China’s official news agency, Xinhua -- on Tuesday.

This is China’s third commando operations unit focused on countering terrorism - the first being Guangzhou-based Snow Leopard unit which was set up in 2002, and the second being Beijing-based Falcon unit operational since 1982.

The name ‘Mountain Eagle’ is from the unit’s designated battlefields: mountains and plateaus. The unit’s insignia is a flying mountain eagle with its beak pointed to the ground and claws open, said the report.

It was established by the Chinese People’s Armed Police (PAP).

The head of the PAP in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) told Cankao Xiaoxi that it was established in the backdrop of military reforms in China.

It was “…born in the context of the military reform, and was born to meet the needs of Xinjiang and even the nation’s anti-terrorist mission. He said that the reason for the use of this new anti-terrorism special force, which was formed shortly before and has never appeared in the public’s view, is to allow them to accept highly difficult, high-intensity,” missions.

The new unit went through “rigorous assessment and evaluation” by higher military authorities following which the commandos have been given the permission to carry out combat missions.

The “horse riding” training course is the “patent” of the new group, the newspaper reported.

“The terrain of the plateau is complex and vehicles find it difficult to pass. Horses are one of the most practical means of transportation. For plateau-mountain combats, the shooting, and training related to horse riding is carried out”.

The first public information about the new commandos comes after China published a new white paper on XUAR, saying there had been no terror attacks in the province since “vocational training camps” were set up there three years ago.

“No terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang for nearly three years since the education and training started, and the overall situation in society continues to be stable,” the white paper published on Friday said.

It was Beijing’s latest defence of its controversial policies in the province where more than a million members of Muslim minority communities are said to be interred in re-education camps as part of pre-emptive measures against terrorism.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
In a proclamation issued on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said the ban “does not advance the interests of the United States”.(Reuters Photo)
In a proclamation issued on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said the ban “does not advance the interests of the United States”.(Reuters Photo)

US lifts Trump-era ban on legal immigration

By Yashwant Raj, Washington
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 08:00 AM IST
In April 2020, Trump had temporarily suspended for 60 days the entry of legal immigrants - affecting green cards - as layoffs had begun to spike. There were some exceptions, such as dependents of US citizens.
Close
A pedestrian wearing her facemask and holding a cup of coffee walks past a closed sign hanging on the door of a small business in Los Angeles, California.
A pedestrian wearing her facemask and holding a cup of coffee walks past a closed sign hanging on the door of a small business in Los Angeles, California.

In US' California, death toll due to Covid-19 tops 50,000

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:58 AM IST
As per the latest data, 1,114 deaths were reported during the previous 24 hours, taking the total toll to 50,991.
Close
In a statement, the FATF noted that Pakistan has made “significant progress” on the entire action plan, and has “largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items”.(AP)
In a statement, the FATF noted that Pakistan has made “significant progress” on the entire action plan, and has “largely addressed 24 of the 27 action items”.(AP)

Terror financing watchdog keeps Pakistan on ‘grey list’

UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:55 AM IST
The outcome was widely anticipated, though Pakistan has failed to meet all deadlines set by the multilateral watchdog to complete the 27-point action plan that was drawn up after the country was placed on the grey list - which is the list of countries under increased monitoring - in June 2018.
Close
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)

UNGA President welcomes ceasefire agreement between India, Pakistan

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:53 AM IST
On Thursday, India and Pakistan released a joint statement saying that they have agreed to a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) starting from February 25.
Close
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met for nearly two hours on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Russia last year. (PTI)
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met for nearly two hours on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Russia last year. (PTI)

Border dispute objective reality, should be put at right position in ties: China

By Sutirtho Patranobis, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:45 AM IST
  • The phone call was the first formal contact between Jaishankar and Wang since they met on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year.
Close
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Australian flag in this illustration photo taken February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Australian flag in this illustration photo taken February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo(REUTERS)

Facebook signs pay deals with 3 Australian news publishers

AP, Canberra
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:22 AM IST
The commercial agreements are subject to the signing of full agreements within the next 60 days, a Facebook statement said.
Close
US President Joe Biden displays his face mask as he speaks during an event to commemorate the 50 millionth coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington. (Reuters Photo)
US President Joe Biden displays his face mask as he speaks during an event to commemorate the 50 millionth coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington. (Reuters Photo)

Joe Biden believes it's important to modernise immigration system: White House

PTI, Washington
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:07 AM IST
Reopening the country to people seeking green cards, or legal permanent residence, Biden in his proclamation on Wednesday said that the policy of former President Donald Trump does not advance the interests of the United States.
Close
US President Donald Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 29, 2020. (Reuters File Photo )
US President Donald Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S., February 29, 2020. (Reuters File Photo )

McConnell says he would support Donald Trump if he’s nominated in 2024

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 07:00 AM IST
McConnell dismissed reports of party discord and said President Joe Biden “has made it quite easy for us to get together.”
Close
A picture of a French bulldog is featured above the entrance of Dog-E-Den Hollywood near an area on North Sierra Bonita Ave. where Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and two of her French bulldogs stolen, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Los Angeles. The dog walker was shot once Wednesday night and is expected to survive his injuries. The man was walking three of Lady Gaga's dogs at the time but one escaped. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)(AP)
A picture of a French bulldog is featured above the entrance of Dog-E-Den Hollywood near an area on North Sierra Bonita Ave. where Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot and two of her French bulldogs stolen, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, in Los Angeles. The dog walker was shot once Wednesday night and is expected to survive his injuries. The man was walking three of Lady Gaga's dogs at the time but one escaped. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)(AP)

Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, French bulldogs stolen in LA

AP, Los Angeles
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:53 AM IST
The man was walking three of Lady Gaga's dogs at the time, but one escaped. That dog has been recovered safely.
Close
Supporters of US President Donald Trump clashing with police officers outside of the US Capitol Building in Washington, US on January 6, 2021. (Reuters Photo )
Supporters of US President Donald Trump clashing with police officers outside of the US Capitol Building in Washington, US on January 6, 2021. (Reuters Photo )

Explainer: What were the warnings before the Capitol riot?

AP
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:47 AM IST
In an appearance before a House subcommittee, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said none of the warnings forecast the mass attack that actually took place.
Close
The TikTok settlement must still be approved by a federal judge.(Reuters File Photo )
The TikTok settlement must still be approved by a federal judge.(Reuters File Photo )

TikTok owner ByteDance to pay $92 million in US privacy settlement

AP, San Francisco
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:41 AM IST
The federal lawsuit alleged that TikTok broke the Illinois biometric privacy law, which allows suits against companies that harvest consumer data without consent, including via facial and fingerprint scanning.
Close
The penalties include $5.4 million for not complying with the agreement in which Boeing pledged to change its internal processes to improve and prioritize regulatory compliance and $1.21 million to settle two pending FAA enforcement cases.(Reuters file photo)
The penalties include $5.4 million for not complying with the agreement in which Boeing pledged to change its internal processes to improve and prioritize regulatory compliance and $1.21 million to settle two pending FAA enforcement cases.(Reuters file photo)

Boeing, hit with $6.6 mn FAA fine, faces much bigger 787 repair bill: Report

Reuters, Seattle, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:37 AM IST
Boeing is beginning painstaking repairs and forensic inspections to fix structural integrity flaws embedded deep inside at least 88 parked 787s built over the last year or so, a third industry source said.
Close
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.(Reuters file photo)
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.(Reuters file photo)

Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi murder report

AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:33 AM IST
  • The phone call was seen as the final precursor to the release of the report on the grisly killing in 2018 of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi national who had been an outspoken critic of Salman's expected successor Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Close
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, a water bucket is filled as others wait in near freezing temperatures to use a hose from public park spigot in Houston. The snow and ice that crippled some states across the South has melted. But it has exposed the fragility of aging waterworks that experts have been warning about for years. Cities across Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi are still grappling with outages that crippled health care facilities and forced families to wait in line for potable water. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)(AP)
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2021, file photo, a water bucket is filled as others wait in near freezing temperatures to use a hose from public park spigot in Houston. The snow and ice that crippled some states across the South has melted. But it has exposed the fragility of aging waterworks that experts have been warning about for years. Cities across Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi are still grappling with outages that crippled health care facilities and forced families to wait in line for potable water. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)(AP)

'Who is at fault?' Investigation into Texas blackout begins

AP, Austin
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:25 AM IST
The outages lasted days for millions of Texas homes, and millions more lost water as water treatment plants shutdown and miles of pipes burst across the state.
Close
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, smoke rises after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on an army base in Sanaa, Yemen. Yemen’s war began in September 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and other countries, entered the war alongside Yemen’s internationally recognized government in March 2015. The war has killed some 130,000 people and driven the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)(AP)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, smoke rises after an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on an army base in Sanaa, Yemen. Yemen’s war began in September 2014, when the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa. Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and other countries, entered the war alongside Yemen’s internationally recognized government in March 2015. The war has killed some 130,000 people and driven the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)(AP)

US bombs facilities in Syria used by Iran-back militia

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:21 AM IST
The airstrike was the first military action undertaken by the Biden administration, which in its first weeks has emphasized its intent to put more focus on the challenges posed by China, even as Mideast threats persist.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP