Militant activities spreading in China, experts warn

Militant activities spreading in China, experts warn
BEIJING: The daring suicide attack at Tiananmen Square here marks a major shift in militant activities as they have spread from the troubled Xinjiang province to the rest of the country, Chinese experts have warned and called for a united front against terrorism.

"Violent terrorists are the common enemies of all China ... People from Xinjiang and the inland regions should join hands in fighting against violent terrorist forces," state-run Global Times said in its editorial titled "China needs united front against terrorism".

"The violent terrorists involved in the incident are all Uighurs. Society will see the real negative effects brought by the violent terrorists," it said.

"What they have done is against the interests and will of the majority of Uighurs, who have benefited from the unity of the country, from the reform and opening-up, and from the country's preferential policies for non-Han ethnic groups," the China Daily said in its editorial.

"Their way of asserting their will by resorting to terrorism will only make them the enemy of all Chinese people," it said.

Meanwhile, experts called for nation wide alert.

"The whole nation should be on high alert of terrorist attacks, which can cause more fatalities in spite of the fewer number of participants," said Li Wei, an anti-terrorism expert with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

Experts believe that militant activities have spread from the troubled Xinjiang province to the rest of the country.

Li told state-run Global Times that counterterrorism an arduous job and "terrorists" will not be contained completely even in the future.

Five persons from Xijiang who were arrested in connection with the case have revealed the identities of a man, his wife and mother who drove right up the entrance of the Forbidden city at Tiananmen square and set it on fire in what authorities said was a suicide attack.

The three attackers and two tourists were killed while 40 people were injured in the attack on Monday. Police are also looking for three more suspects.

"This time the attackers targeted Tiananmen, the heart of China's capital and the country's political centre, because they want to generate a greater sense of fear and international impact. People should realise that terrorist attacks are not something peculiar to Xinjiang," another expert, Ma Pinyan, told state-run China Daily.


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