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China Arrests Suspects Of Xinjiang Station Bombing

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[May 17, 2014]  BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police have arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the train station attack and bombing last month in the western city of Urumqi, state-backed newspaper Global Times reported on Saturday.

Three people were killed, including the assailants, and 79 wounded in a bomb and knife attack on April 30 at a station in Urumqi, the capital of China's far-west Xinjiang region, as President Xi Jinping was wrapping up a visit to the area.

Global Times said police caught seven people at a farm in Changji city and identified them as including two brothers, a cousin and wife of one of the assailants who was killed. The suspects remain under investigation, the paper said.

Xinjiang authorities earlier identified the assailant as Sedierding Shawuti, a 39-year-old man from Xayar county in Xinjiang's Aksu region. His name could identify him as possible member of the Muslim Uighur minority.

The government called the attackers "terrorists", a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state.

Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists.

Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is China's heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Uighur people.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Matt Driskill)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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