China posts special police in restive Xinjiang

Beijing: China has rushed thousands of special police forces to Urumqi, capital city of northwestern Xinjiang province, where it is battling to contain separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants.

Thousands of special policemen have been transferred to Urumqi from the regional public security department, state-run Xinhua news agency reported without specifying the reasons for the deployment.

The fresh deployment would be in addition to stationing of Snow Leopards, China best known anti-terrorism unit in Urmuqi as well as in the border town of Kashghar, located close to the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).

The restive province has been witnessing large scale violence and terrorist activities since last two years and about 200 hundred people have been killed and large numbers injured in riots by Uyghurs protesting over the growing settlements of Hans.

The area has also witnessed periodic violent attacks staged by ETIM.

To contain separatist violence, the Chinese rushed in the Leopard force in the aftermath of the attacks by ETIM militants against members of Han community in which several people were killed.

The Kashghar administration said the militants who were subsequently killed were trained in terrorist training camps in Pakistan, which subsequently stepped up cooperation to crackdown on ETIM militants drawn from the ranks of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Sources with the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) confirmed that thousands of special police from the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams of the Xinjiang regional public security department are put under the administration of the Urumqi city`s Public Security Bureau, it said.

A regulatory body in the Public Security Bureau of Urumqi will be established to take charge of the overall management of the special police teams across Urmuqi, it said.

Following the transfer, about 1,000 special police officers will be dispatched to strengthen traffic police, and another 1,000 are expected to work in community-level police stations, according to the Urumqi Municipal Committee of the CPC.