BEIJING: Authorities in China’s restive Xinjiang region have issued a “most wanted” list and offered rewards for tipoffs, a government website said on 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.
“We hope more people will help us with information and leave terrorists with no place to hide,” the Xinjiang official news website Tianshannet quoted senior police information official Li Li as saying.
But overseas rights groups say the unrest stems from discrimination against ethnic minority Uighurs in Xinjiang, a far-west desert region which 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 Uighurs and Han.
Ahead of the fourth anniversary of the incident on Friday, the overseas World Uyghur Congress plans to hold commemorations for victims, while police in Urumqi have begun 24-hour patrols.
In addition, Tianshannet reported, authorities have pledged 50,000 ($8,200) to 100,000 yuan rewards for people who provide tips that help solve “violent or terrorism cases.”
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.