Chinese police said Thursday that they had broken up a “terrorist cell” that carried out lethal attacks in Xinjiang, as the restive region braced for the first anniversary of deadly ethnic unrest. Three members of the cell were among a 20-strong group deported back to China on December 20 from an unnamed country, public security bureau spokesman Wu Heping told reporters. Cambodia sent a group of 20 Uighurs back to China last December despite US and UN protests. “Since 2008 this terror group planned and carried out many terror acts in Xinjiang, including an attack on police and border guards in Kashgar during the Olympics,” Wu said. He said the group was also responsible for bombings and a shootout with police in the city of Kuqa, which was blamed for at least 10 deaths. From July to October last year, the group gathered bombs, axes and Molotov cocktails with plans to carry out a chain of attacks in Xinjiang, and some members fled abroad when the plan was foiled, he said. Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the overseas World Uyghur Congress, said the timing of the announcement was politically motivated.
China Claim: Uighurs from Cambodia in ‘terror gang’