BEIJING – Authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region have issued a “most wanted” list and offered rewards for tip-offs, a government website said Wednesday, continuing the forceful official response to recent unrest ahead of a sensitive anniversary.
After two violent incidents left at least 35 people dead last week, China has boosted security in the regional capital, Urumqi, while top officials and state media have vowed to crack down on such “terrorist” attacks.
They have published a list of 11 “most wanted” suspects, including two accused of killing security guards and construction workers in June, and three suspected of making explosives in a plan to attack government buildings.
Tianshannet, the Xinjiang official news website, reported authorities have pledged 50,000 yuan to 100,000 yuan ($8,150 to $16,300) rewards for people who provide tips that help solve “violent or terrorism cases.”
But overseas rights groups say the unrest stems from discrimination against ethnic minority Uighurs in Xinjiang, a far-west desert region that has seen an influx of majority Han Chinese in recent years. Some of Xinjiang’s worst violence in years erupted on July 5, 2009, when around 200 people were killed in clashes between Uighurs and Han.
“Terrorist activities” are crimes against humanity and “the response has to be resolute and ruthless,” the China Daily said Wednesday in an editorial, ahead of the fourth anniversary of the incident Friday.