Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 08:10 UK

China hunts Olympic 'terrorists'


China has appealed for international help in tracking down eight men from the Xinjiang region, whom officials say threatened to disrupt the Olympics.

The men were said to be members of a separatist group fighting for an independent homeland for Uighurs.

Local dissidents and some human rights groups have said that China has exaggerated the threat from the group.

The authorities said more than 30 people died in violence in Xinjiang in August, when the Olympics were held.

"All the eight terrorists listed are members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement," said a spokesman for China's Public Security Bureau.

Ethnically Turkic Muslims, mainly in Xinjiang
Made bid for independent state in 1940s
Sporadic violence in Xinjiang since 1991
Uighurs worried about Chinese immigration and erosion of traditional culture

"[They] took part in plotting, organising and executing various terrorist activities targeting the Beijing Olympic Games," spokesman Wu Heping said.

"We hope that the governments of relevant countries and law enforcement agencies will... track them down, immediately arrest them and hand them over to China so that we can hold them responsible for their crimes."

Uighur separatists in Xinjiang have waged a low-level campaign against Chinese rule for decades.

In the most deadly recent attack, 16 police were killed in Kashgar on 4 August - four days before the Olympic Games began in Beijing.

Print Sponsor

Two police die in Xinjiang clash
28 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Few answers in violence-hit Xinjiang
15 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese border assault kills 16
04 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
China dismisses bus bombs claim
26 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese police shoot Uighurs dead
09 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
How big is the Xinjiang threat?
04 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Q&A: China and the Uighurs
08 Jul 09 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: China
30 Jul 08 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific