09/26/2014, 00.00
CHINA
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Death toll in Xinjiang attacks jumps to 50

Of the victims, 40 were "terrorists" killed in the explosions; six civilians; two police officers and two security agents. Chinese authorities have imposed a curfew and closed schools and offices.

Urumqi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The death toll from a spate of bombings September 21 has jumped to 50 people.  The series of explosions targeted police stations and public buildings in the Bugur county (Xinjiang). The hike in the number of dead was reported by the state news portal, Tianshan, which, has given no reason for the delay in reporting the news.

The explosions occurred at around 17 (local time) in front of two police stations, an outdoor market and a shop. Of the 50 victims, 40 were "terrorists" killed in the explosions; six civilians; two police officers and two security agents. Two other alleged attackers were caught by the police. The number of wounded has been reduced from 100, as reported yesterday, to 54, all of whom are civilians.

According to the Tianshan report, the main suspect is a man named Mamat Tursun, who has been "operating as an extremist since 2003."

The Chinese authorities have imposed a curfew in the areas affected by the violence, ordering the closure of schools and offices. According to Beijing, the attackers are separatists from the Uyghur minority.  The Turkic and Muslim ethnic group from Xinjiang has been calling for greater autonomy or independence from China.

Meanwhile, on September 23 a court in Urumqi sentenced Uyghur intellectual Ilham Tohti to life imprisonment for "separatism": a ruling that has sparked outrage from human rights activists in China.

 

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