Muslim Activist Urges China Raid Probe

Wednesday January 10, 2007 12:16 PM
Associated Press Writer,,-6335456,00.html

BEIJING (AP) - An exiled Chinese Muslim activist
living in the U.S. urged China on Wednesday to allow
an independent probe of an anti-terror raid that
officials say killed 18 militants. 

Police found a cache of hand grenades, guns and
handmade explosives Friday in Akto, a county in the
predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region, about 120 miles
east of Kyrgyzstan. 

China said 18 terror suspects were killed and 17
arrested during the raid at an alleged training camp
run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM. 

Rebiya Kadeer, a Chinese Muslim from Xinjiang now
living in exile in the U.S., said in a statement that
scholars and analysts believe ETIM ``ceased to exist
when its purported leader was killed in a skirmish
with the Pakistani military in Pakistan in late

She said Beijing has failed to produce any evidence
proving the suspects were terrorists or backing up its
long-standing claim that ETIM has links to Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaida terror network. 

``If the Chinese authorities want to be taken
seriously as a responsible member of the world
community, then they must allow independent scrutiny
of any evidence they have for the claims they are
making,'' Kadeer said in the statement. 

China labels ETIM as a terrorist organization, as does
the U.S. Before 2002, Washington rejected China's
claim that Xinjiang's Muslim separatists were part of
a global terror threat. Some speculated the U.S.
reversal was a reward to Beijing for tightening its
export controls on missile technology. 

Kadeer is an outspoken critic of China's treatment of
Xinjiang's dominant ethnic group, the Uighurs -
Turkic-speaking Muslims whose language and culture are
distinct from the rest of the country. 

China has long said that Uighur militants are leading
a violent Islamic separatist movement in Xinjiang.
Critics accuse Beijing of using claims of terrorism as
an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence
sentiment and expressions of Uighur identity. 


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