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Monday, January 15, 2007

Chinese Police kill 18 in terrorist camp raid

Shanghai Daily: Police have destroyed a terrorist camp in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, killing 18 suspected insurgents, a spokeswoman for the Xinjiang Public Security Department said yesterday.

One police officer was killed and another wounded in a gun battle on Friday in the mountains of the Pamirs Plateau in southern Xinjiang, said spokeswoman Ba Yan.

The police have captured 17 terrorists and are pursuing an unspecified number of others, the spokeswoman said.

Officers also seized 22 hand grenades and more than 1,500 other explosives that the terrorists were in the process of completing, authorities said.

They also reported confiscating other homemade explosives and guns.

The police found that the terrorists operated several mines near the camp to raise funds, Ba said.

Song Hongli, head of the general office of the Xinjiang Public Security Department, said the Xinjiang police will keep the public informed of developments in pursuing the suspects, who remain at large.

The training camp was run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a group that the United Nations labeled a terrorist organization in 2002, according to Ba.

Authorities said they believe that more than 1,000 ETIM members have been trained by al-Qaida.

The former head of the terrorist group, Hasan Mahsum, was shot and killed by Pakistani troops on October 2, 2003 in a joint anti-terror operation along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He was accused of plotting violent activities, including robberies and murders in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, and murders in Xinjiang's Hotan region.
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