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Xinjiang official vows to crack down on terrorists
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Authorities in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are confident they will foil any terrorist plots against the Beijing Olympics, a top regional official said on Friday.

"We have done a lot to deal with terrorists, especially the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in the past years," Kurexi Maihesuti, vice-chairman of the regional government, said.

"We are resolved to thwart any terrorist activities and nip them in the bud," he told a press conference at the Beijing International Media Center.

Terrorist groups, the ETIM in particular, have threatened to attack Olympic venues.

Ma Zhenchuan, director of the security command of the Beijing Games, warned earlier that the ETIM poses a real threat because investigations show it has been plotting terror attacks on Olympic venues.

But "there are only a very small number of sabotage activities in Xinjiang and many were nipped in the bud", Kurexi Maihesuti said.

"We see that these terrorist groups are not that capable of instigating massive sabotage activities, as some hostile forces have hoped to see," he said.

When asked whether China has been overreacting in strengthening security, the vice-chairman said the reaction "hasn't been over the top in cracking down on the damaging actions of terrorist forces and groups".

"Any country in the world would step up security ahead of such an important event as the Olympics," he said.

(China Daily August 2,2008)

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