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China Says it Stops More Terrorists Targeting Olympics


China says it has stopped five terrorist groups and arrested 82 suspected terrorists who were plotting to attack the Beijing Olympics. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing the announcement was made one day after police in northwestern China said they shot and killed five people during a raid on a terrorist-training hideout.

China's official Xinhua news agency says police broke up the suspected terrorist groups in the first half of this year in northwest Xinjiang province.

Xinhua quoted Chen Zhuangwei, the head of public security in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, as saying the groups were separatists or extremists plotting to sabotage the Beijing Olympics.

Chen said police also had destroyed 41 training bases for "holy war."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the incidents showed that terrorism in China is a real threat.

He says facts prove that in this region there are groups engaging in terrorist activities to split China. He says the international community should have a unified stance on cooperation in fighting against terrorism.

Chinese authorities say in Xinjiang, home of the Muslim Uighur minority group, the country is threatened by Islamic terrorists with links to international organizations, including al Qaida.

But human rights groups say Beijing is using terrorism as an excuse to persecute independence-leaning Muslim minorities who have less access to jobs and education than China's ethnic majority Han Chinese.

Police in Urumqi on Wednesday said they raided a hideout of 15 separatists, killing five of them and injuring two. Xinhua reported the 10 men and five women were all Uighurs and had threatened police with knives when they were cornered.

Xinhua said three of the men were suspected of stabbing and seriously wounding a Han Chinese woman at a beauty salon. The report said the 10 arrested suspects confessed to plotting to establish an independent Muslim state and kill Han Chinese.

Earlier this year, Chinese authorities said they stopped terrorist cells planning to attack the Olympic Games, kidnap foreign athletes and journalists, and hijack and crash an airplane.

The international police cooperation organization, Interpol, has said international terrorism is a real threat to the Beijing Olympics next month. Interpol and several countries have offered security cooperation with China to help prevent terrorist acts during the games.

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