BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhuanet) -- In the latest campaign against terrorists and extremists, Xinjiang police have shot dead nine suspects and captured one in Hotan prefecture. Local authorities say more than 30,000 civilians joined in the manhunt.
"We walked in rows into the field, about a thousand square meters in size. Then we heard something move. When we were about 15 meters away, one suspect threw a small explosive. The black smoke could be seen from far away. We called the police right away."
It was a near-death experience for Jume, who came face to face with the suspects during Friday’s confrontation.
"One of the suspects took out a knife and stabbed me, I could have been hurt without my protective vest. Then another took out a longer knife and swung at me. I dodged. My sleeve was torn and there’s cut on my arm. It also broke my walkie-talkie. "
The terrorist gang was spotted about fifty meters away from here by local villagers, who then tipped off the police. They stood guard and helped to search the corn field.The police eventually tracked the suspects down to this empty building over there, where the shooting and the arrests were made."
Blood-stained clothing and burned carpets litter the floor. Walls are blackened from the explosion. The smell of gunpowder is still in the air.
The leader of the gang, Abdul Rahman, was among the nine suspects killed.
In the home of one gang member, police found flags of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, flags of a Khalifah religious leader, and bomb-making tools and materials.
"This terrorist gang was found to be influenced by extremism thought, and were collaborating with extremism forces and had accepted the orders of Holy War. They made explosives and planned attacks on police stations, village committees and kindergartens. So far police have captured or killed over 60 group members. "
About 30,000 villagers volunteered in the two-and-a-half day man hunt. Public tip-offs have become an effective tool for tracking down suspects. In Moxu county alone, police has received 21 reports, and busted 17 terrorist and extremist gangs since January.
It’s an uphill battle for police in Xinjiang. This terrorist incident is the third in a week.