2 killed, many injured in explosions in China's Xinjiang

Beijing: At least two persons were killed and several others injured in a series of explosions in China's restive Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province.

Explosions hit at least three locations in Xinjiang's Luntai County last evening, the Tianshan news portal, run by the regional government, said in a short report this morning.

The report did not identify the explosions, which appeared to be coordinated attacks, as acts of terrorism, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

"The local social order was normal," the Tianshan said, indicating that there was no further unrest following the explosions. An unspecified number of those wounded have been admitted to hospitals, the report said.

Investigations were ongoing, the Post said. Photos in Weibo, akin Twitter in China, showed smoke billowing out in two locations with widespread damage to the vehicles.

More than half of the county¿s 113,000 residents are ethnic Uygurs, according to local census information. A series of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang shocked China this year, with the latest in early August when 37 civilians were killed and another 13 injured in Shache County of Kashgar Prefecture.

China blames the attacks on East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an al-Qaeda backed organisation active in Xinjiang province where the native Muslim Uygurs were restive over the increasing settlements of Hans from other provinces.

China is currently conducting a massive year long campaign to quell the spread of the ETIM influence in the province.

 In a related development, 17 Chinese officials and police officers have received penalties for being accountable for a deadly terror attack and the murder of a prominent Imam, state to be prop-government cleric in Xinjiang.

The Xinjiang Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China yesterday gave a list of penalised officials, including county and town officials, a vice secretary-general of Kashgar's Islamic association and several police officers.

He Limin, Party chief of Shache County, was demoted and stripped of his Party position. Some others were sacked, demoted or given inner-Party warnings.

A terror attack on July 28 in Shache County of Kashgar Prefecture left 37 civilians dead and 94 injured. Police shot dead 59 terrorists and arrested 215 others .The incident was followed by the murder of 74-year-old religious leader Jume Tahir in China's largest mosque, the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, on July 30 by militants.

The Party committee of Xinjiang also said a former town-level legislator was promoted for his timely reports and good performance during the Shache attack.

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