Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 13:02 UK

Bomb hits China's Xinjiang region


A man has died after detonating a bomb in an office building in the capital of China's restive Xinjiang region, according to state media.

Two office workers were also injured in the attack that occurred at 1400 (0600 GMT) in the city of Urumqi, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting local police.

Xinjiang experienced a string of violent attacks last year, which China blamed on separatists.

The area is home to Muslim Uighurs, some of whom want independence.

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

But campaigners accuse China of exaggerating the threat to justify tough security clampdowns in the region, while the US state department accuses the government of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

In a report released earlier this year, it said that "severe cultural and religious repression" of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang had increased.

Dissidents were being detained and harassed, and tight controls on freedom of speech and the internet were being maintained, it said.

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