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China Arrests 5 for Tiananmen 'Terror Attack'


Chinese police say they have arrested five people in connection with what they are now calling a terrorist attack Monday in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Authorities say three people in a sport utility vehicle crashed it through a barricade into tourists near the Forbidden City and deliberately set the SUV on fire. Police say they found gasoline, knives, steel sticks and a flag with extremist religious content inside the vehicle.

Officials say the three people in the vehicle were from the same family. Based on their names, it appears the three were members of the Uighur minority group. All three died, along with two tourists, a Philippine woman and a Chinese man.

Four of the five people taken into custody so far also appear to have typically Uighur names, although the fifth suspect has a traditionally Han Chinese name.

Exiled Uighur leaders reject accusations of Uighur involvement in terrorism. They accuse China's majority Han rulers of persecuting their people and turning them into a minority in their homeland.

China has long accused Uighur separatists and Islamic militants of carrying out a series of attacks in Xinjiang, in an effort to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

China denies mistreating any of its minority groups, saying they are guaranteed wide-ranging religious and cultural freedoms.
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