KASHGAR, CHINA: Experts and analysts have questioned China's claim of Pakistan trained terrorists as being the perpetrators behind the recent wave of violence in Xinjiang.
According to a report on Al Jazeera, it quoted experts as being of the opinion that although Chinese Muslim activists had trained under the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there is no evidence that they were trained to execute attacks in China.
According to Dru Giadney, an expert on Xinjiang politics at the Pacific Basin Institute in the US, claims of Chinese Muslim activists carrying out such attacks are baseless without any evidence. While some experts have even questioned the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as still being active.
Gardner Bovingdon, a professor of Central Asian studies at Indiana University says that he hasn’t seen any ‘irrefutable’ of the ETIM’s existence or if it was responsible for the attack.
Urghur activists, abroad, said that China’s claim was a ‘smokescreen’ to hide the true reasons behind the attack.
Urghurs have complained of discrimination against them in the job market, stating that development has only benefitted the Han majority in Xinjiang, which in turn has encouraged more movement by them to the reigon.
Cultural and religious restrictions have also angered the local Urghurs. Since the 2009 Urumqi riots, China has taken an oppressive stance on the Urghurs, be restricting them from mosque congregations and fasting in the Ramazan.
Earlier China had claimed that terrorists responsible for the recent spate of ethnic violence were trained in Pakistan.
The Kashgar local government had said in a statement on its website that the assailants had learned explosive-making skills in terrorist-run camps in Pakistan.
“The heads of the group had learned skills of making explosives and firearms in overseas camps of the terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Pakistan before entering Xinjiang,” the online statement said.
(Read:Xinjiang unrest: China blames unrest on Pakistan-trained terrorists)
On Sunday, knife-wielding attackers killed 10 people in China’s Xinjiang region and another four were shot dead by police as a wave of violence swept the ethnically-torn area, state media and officials said on Sunday.
The unrest occurred in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar in two separate attacks, and local residents said the city centre was under lockdown, with security forces patrolling the streets.
In the first attack on Saturday evening, seven people were killed and 28 others hurt at a night market by two attackers with knives, one of whom was later killed in violence, the authorities said.
On Sunday three people were hacked to death by rioters, the Xinhua news agency said. It had earlier reported they died in an explosion, but a follow-up report left it unclear whether there had been a blast or not.
(Read: Ethnic aggression: Deadly violence hits restive Xinjiang)
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