BEIJING: China will deploy more "anti-terrorism forces" to its far northwest Xinjiang region following a series of deadly attacks there, state media said Friday.
Public security minister Meng Jianzhu told officials in Xinjiang that stability in the remote region was important for China's "overall security and unification," according to comments carried by the Global Times newspaper.
Meng said more "anti-terrorism forces" would be sent to Xinjiang to boost security, although no details were given.
(Read: China's top police official vows crackdown on terrorism)
There is already a heavy armed police presence in Kashgar, a famed city on the ancient Silk Road in Xinjiang, following two attacks on a busy restaurant and a night market last weekend that authorities said left 13 people dead.
Eight of the alleged attackers were also killed.
Chinese authorities blamed one of the attacks on "terrorists" trained in camps in Pakistan, and have pledged to "crack down on religious extremists".
However some experts say there is little evidence of any foreign involvement, blaming instead local ethnic tensions for the violence.
Many of Xinjiang's roughly nine million Turkic-speaking Uighurs are unhappy with what they say has been decades of political and religious repression, and the unwanted immigration of China's dominant Han ethnic group.
The tension has triggered sporadic bouts of unrest in the resource-rich and strategically vital region that borders eight countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The weekend unrest came after more than 20 people were killed last month in a clash between Uighur locals and police in the remote Xinjiang city of Hotan. State media also linked that unrest to "terrorists".
In July 2009, China was hit by its worst ethnic violence in decades when Uighurs savagely attacked Han Chinese in Urumqi, an incident that led to deadly reprisals by Han on Uighurs several days later.
The government said around 200 people were killed and 1,700 injured in the 2009 violence.
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