CHINA DETAINS 82 'TERRORISTS' TARGETING OLYMPICS
|Chinese security forces patrol a street in Xinjiang, April 5, 2008
July 10, 2008: Chinese police have this year detained 82
suspected terrorists in the nation's Muslim-populated far northwest who were
planning to attack the Beijing Olympics, state media reported. The 82 belonged
to five groups that "allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing
Olympics," Xinhua news agency reported, citing the head of the police in
Urumqi, the capital of remote Xinjiang region that borders central Asia.
It was the first time that Chinese officials had given a
total number of suspects detained in a series of raids this year. The
announcement came a day after state press said police shot dead five Muslims
who allegedly wanted to launch a "holy war".
Exiled members of Xinjiang's Turkic-speaking Uighur
population have denied that such a terrorist threat exists in the region. They
have accused the Chinese government of exaggerating or fabricating the threat
as an excuse to crack down on all forms of dissent ahead of next month's Games.
Urumqi police chief Chen Zhuangwei however insisted that the
terrorist threat was very real, reportedly saying that 41 "illegal"
places of worship in Xinjiang had been closed because they were training
grounds for "holy war".
"From now, all police officers must act urgently, get
involved once more in Olympic security, to make sure huge and small incidents
alike do not happen," Chen said, according to the Xinjiang Daily
newspaper. (Sources: AFP, 10/07/2008)