During the first year of the anti-terrorist campaign in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang, 181 terrorist cells have been neutralized by police forces. The campaign, launched last year by the Chinese central authorities, aims in putting a stop to the wave of attacks in public places that have occurred in the northwestern autonomous region and other areas of the country. Sources from Xinhua News Agency reports that 96.2% of the groups have been neutralized during the planning phase of the attacks, while112 suspects had been handed over to the police.
The campaign was triggered off by the bombing at the open-air market of Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, which took place last May, where 39 people died in an attack by two car-bomb blasts. Ninety people were injured in the explosion.
Among the ethnic minority of Uyghurs, of Muslim faith, that live in Xinjiang , there are some separatist groups who are claiming autonomy of the region from the central government of China. Beijing fears that these groups may have contacts with the terrorists who are trained in central Asia or even in the Islamic State, following rumors on Chinese media in recent months concerning 300 foreign fighters holding Chinese passports.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati