Chinese authorities are assuring
athletes and spectators arriving for the Beijing Olympic Games that they will be
safe from terrorists.
Organizing committee spokesman Sun Weide told
reporters Tuesday that China could guarantee a safe and peaceful
A deadly attack in China's far western Xinjiang region on
Monday killed 16 police officers and wounded 16 others.
ramped up security across the mostly-Muslim region, but especially in the town
of Kashgar, the scene the assault. Police went on full alert at government
office buildings, schools and hospitals.
Chinese state media say two men
from a mainly Muslim ethnic group were responsible for the attack - four days
ahead the opening of the Beijing Olympics.
China's official Xinhua news
agency says the two Uighur men drove a dump truck into a group of jogging
policemen early Monday in the city of Kashgar. The report says the attackers
threw two home-made explosives at a nearby police station and hacked at officers
Xinhua says the men - ages 28 and 33 - were later arrested.
No civilians were hurt.
There has been no official claim of
responsibility for the assault.
Chinese state media linked the attack to
an alleged plot by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a group dedicated to
gaining independence for Xinjiang. Chinese authorities say the group has been
planning to launch attacks in the days before the Olympics.
Uighurs in Xinjiang have been waging a low-level rebellion against Chinese rule
for years. Human rights groups and Uighur groups in the West say Chinese
authorities often use terrorism as a pretext to persecute the country's Muslim