A bomb was detonated outside a government office in China’s restive western region Wednesday.
Four “thugs” drove a car carrying home-made explosives into the Communist Party offices in Karakax County, Xinjiang Province at 3:50 am EST Wednesday and set off the bomb, killing one person and injuring three others.
Authorities opened fire and killed the four attackers, which China’s Xinhua News Agency labeled “terrorists.”
“At present, local social order is stable,” the local government reported.
Hundreds of people have been killed in violent incidents in Xinjiang over the years.
China asserts that Islamic extremists are to blame for the bloodshed. Some human rights activists and exiles, however, argue that a rise in violence is a response to oppression and ethnic tension between the Muslim Uighur minority and the Han majority, Reuters introduced.
Attackers believed to be Xinjiang separatists massacred 31 people at a train station in Kunming in March 2014, and two months later, 39 people were killed in a bloody attack at a market in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, reports AFP.
Authorities killed 28 “terrorists” after an attack in Aksu killed 16 people in 2015.
The Chinese government claims that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is behind much of the unrest in the region. There are questions, however, surrounding the overall capabilities of the ETIM as a cohesive fighting force.
The identities, motives, and allegiances of the individuals involved in Wednesday’s attack are currently unknown.
Wednesday’s bombing is reportedly the first major incident in Xinjiang this year.
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