Jihadist group claims Xinjiang attacks http://www.thehindu.com/news/internatio ... 435003.ece
A Jihadist group has claimed responsibility for recent violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, saying in a video message that the attacks, which left up to 40 people dead in two cities, were “revenge” against the Chinese government.
The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), an Islamist group that has carried out several attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China and has called for the Muslim-majority Western region’s independence, said in a video message it had been behind knife-attacks and blasts in Hotan and Kashgar that left up to 40 people, including at least 20 attackers, dead.
The 10-minute 44-second video message, which showed TIP leader Abdul Shakoor Damla, was the first claim of responsibility for the attacks, which Chinese authorities had blamed on terrorists trained in camps in Pakistan. The United States-based SITE Intelligence Group said the video was made by the TIP, the Associated Press reported.
If the claims are proved accurate, the video will reaffirm Chinese fears of the TIP’s growing presence in neighbouring Pakistan, and also question claims by overseas exiled Uighur groups who had blamed the suppression of protests by police for triggering violence in Hotan.
Xinjiang, which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), has seen unrest and riots between the native Uighurs, a Turkic ethnic group, and Han Chinese migrants. The Chinese government has frequently blamed extremist groups for stirring unrest in the region. Its claims have, however, been questioned by both Uighur scholars and many exile groups, who say the unrest, including the recent attacks, had been carried out by residents aggrieved by rising inequalities and religious restrictions.
In Kashgar, attackers hijacked a truck and rammed it into a group of pedestrians before hacking at Chinese shoppers in a food street with knives. The local government said some of the attackers had trained in terror camps in Pakistan. Kashgar lies close to Xinjiang’s border with PoK.
CPC sought Jamaat supporthttp://www.thehindu.com/news/internatio ... 436681.ece
Fears over the resurgence of religious extremist groups in Xinjiang and increasing lack of confidence in the Pakistani government's ability to crack down on terror were the likely factors behind the Communist Party of China's unexpected move to sign its first ever cooperation agreement with an Islamist political party in 2009, leaked United States Embassy cables suggest.
The CPC sought the support of Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islaami (JI) to tackle “radicalised” groups who were backing separatists in Xinjiang, scholars in official Chinese think-tanks and Afghan diplomats told U.S. officials, according to a cable from March 2009 that was among the last tranche of cables released by Wikileaks.
The cable underscores China's long-persisting concerns over the spread of extremism from neighbouring Pakistan, voiced recently following attacks in Kashgar and Hotan which Chinese authorities blamed on terrorists trained in Pakistan. The separatist Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), which has active camps near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the violence, which left at least 40 people dead.
In early 2009, China decided it wanted to “directly deal with JI” because radicalised groups “were suspicious of Chinese interests in Pakistan and supported Xinjiang separatists,” Ye Hailin, a scholar at the official Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), a think-tank close to the Chinese government, reportedly told U.S. officials. The JI, China believed, had “strong influence” on those groups.
“The maliks can help us very much,” Mr. Yi was quoted as saying.