After IS video, cautious China vows to fight Uighur militants

02 March 2017, 09:29 PM
After IS video, cautious China vows to fight Uighur militants
After IS video, cautious China vows to fight Uighur militants

A wary China on Thursday said it will work with the international community to fight terrorism after Islamic State fighters from Uighur ethnic minority in troubled Xinjiang vowed to return home and "shed blood like rivers".

"I want to emphasise that in recent years the East Turkestan terrorist forces represented by the ETIM (East Turkistan Islamic Movement) are sending fighters to conflict zones and strengthening their collusion with international terrorist forces, posing severe danger to security and stability of relevant countries and the region," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media.

"We are ready to work with the international community to continue fighting the East Turkestan terrorist forces," he said without elaborating.

He said ETIM, which China blames for spate of violent attacks in Xinjiang and other provinces, pose a grave threat on security and stability of China and the region.

"We will work with the international community in jointly fighting East Turkestan terrorist forces," he added.

Islamic State militants from Uighur ethnic minority in a half-hour video released on Monday vowed to return home and "shed blood like rivers", said the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, in what experts said marked the first IS threat against Chinese targets.

In the video a Uighur fighter issued the threat against China just before executing an alleged informant.

"In retaliation for the tears that flow from the eyes of the oppressed we will make your blood flow in rivers, by the will of God," one fighter featured in the video said, speaking in native Uighur language.

The video release was timed with the massive counter terrorism drills by Chinese security forces in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, where Beijing also reported to have deployed aircraft and helicopters.

Uighurs are Turkik speaking Muslims who constitute a majority in the sprawling resource-rich Xinjiang bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Afghanistan.

Many Uighurs complain of cultural and religious repression and discrimination by China. China blames ETIM, an Al-Qaeda affiliated outfit, for violent attacks in the restive region.

Pakistan in the past launched counter-terrorism operations in its remote tribal areas to destroy Uighur militants bases following pressure from China.In the recent past, several Uighur youths, who have ethnic affiliation in Turkey, have reportedly crossed over to Syria in big numbers and joined the Islamic State.

China has been saying that it is bracing for their return to cause more violence in Xinjiang and rest of the country.

First Published: Thursday, March 02, 2017 09:14 PM
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