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Terrorist plot suspected in violent attack
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Customers in the Yiquan Hotel said that they thought it was a blast, when they were wakened up by an explosion from outside.

All the 16 injured were treated at Kashi Prefectural People's Hospital. Four of them were in the hospital's ICU, while the other 12 were out of danger, according to hospital source.

The driver who blew up one of his arms after igniting the home-made explosive was also treated at the hospital. Surgeons amputated his injured arm to save his life.

A team of medical experts sent from Urumqi, the regional capital, arrived at Kashi Prefectural People's Hospital on Monday evening to offer a helping hand.

"The ploy of the bloody crime resembles some previous terrorist attempts carried out by 'Eastern Turkistan' separatists, which were foiled by Chinese police," said Li Wei, director of the Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in an interview with Xinhua.

Li said similar raids had been plotted by the separatists, which were targeted at public security staff.

Sun Weide, a media official with the organizing committee of the Beijing Games, said that the organizing committee will contact Xinjiang police over the incident.

He said that China had prepared to handle any threats to ensure the Games safe with the help from the international community.

The Xinjiang regional public security department said it had got information that the "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" planned to make terrorist attacks during Aug. 1-8, just ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Chinese police foiled an attempted sabotage instigated and conducted by the "Eastern Turkistan" separatists on board a Southern Airlines flight in March. Three suspects detained by police admitted that the attack was masterminded.

The "East Turkistan Islamic Movement" was one of the main security worries to the Olympics, which also include separatist forces for "Tibet independence", and the Falun Gong cult, according to Tian Yixiang, a senior PLA commander and also a security chief for the Games.

Kurexi Maihesuti, vice chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Government, told a press conference in Beijing last week that Xinjiang police had cracked five terrorism groups in the first half of 2008, detaining 82 suspected terrorists who allegedly plotted sabotage against the Olympics.

The Olympic Games would be a target of various anti-China and hostile forces, which are trying every possible means to sabotage the event, Vice Minister of Public Security Yang Huanning said last month.

(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2008)

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