Militant issues threats over Uyghur unrest

Police patrol Urumqi, China, on Saturday, July 11.
A militant leader whose group has links to al Qaeda denounced Chinese treatment of Uyghur Muslims in western China and threatened to seek "revenge."

The leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party, in a video that appeared on Islamic Web sites, blames the Chinese for “genocide” against people in East Turkistan — what some Uyghurs calls the region of Xinjiang province in western China where they live. Earlier this month, Uyghurs demonstrated in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, to protest the killing of two Uyghur migrant workers at a toy factory in the southeast Chinese province of Guangdong in late June after a brawl between Uyghur and Han people. The Urumqi protest turned violent, and fighting ensued in that city and elsewhere, with Uyghurs and Han attacking each other.

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The remarks were delivered by Seyfullah, commander of the Turkistan Islamic Party and dated July 8. They came after the violence erupted between Uyghur Muslims and Han Chinese. The speaker urged his people to “kill the Chinese Communists where you find them, take them and besiege them and ambush them wherever you can.”

“Let them know that these Muslim people have men who will seek their revenge and they are about to do that very soon, before the horses of God will reach you, God willing, so be prepared for that moment because we are too getting prepared.” The U.S. State Department said the group has taken credit for violent incidents in the past.