International terror group behind deadly violence in Xinjiang region

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China says an international terror group is behind violence in its far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and is calling for international help to tackle a common foe. The state-controlled Global Times reported on an organization called the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which it said is trying to create an independent state. The group, it said, has been recruiting ethnic Uyghurs while abroad in Turkey, sending them to gain combat experience fighting against the government in Syria, and then sending them back to commit terror attacks in their home region. At the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Spokeswoman Hua Chunying has called for international cooperation: China's claims of an international terror group are being made alongside vows to crack down in Xinjiang, following the worst ethnic violence seen there between indigenous Uyghurs and Han Chinese in 4 years. According to state media, 35 people were killed last Wednesday in an attack on government buildings in a remote Xinjiang township, and two days later more than 100 people riding motorbikes and wielding knives staged another attack on a police station in the city of Hotan. Blaming outside forces bent on breaking up China has been Beijing's consistent reaction to violence in Xinjiang. Ordinary citizens there, it says, are happy with the benefits of its benevolent rule and massive investments that have developed the local economy. Critics, however, say the government is enacting a policy of colonization, involving the repression of indigenous Uyghurs as they are dispossessed of their culture and land. July 5 this week marks the anniversary of ethnic rioting in the provincial capital Urumqi, which in 2009 left nearly 200 people dead.

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