* News Dreck from Al BeBeeCeera: you have to read yourself through the whole thing to find the above sentence, otherwise you’d never know.
Gang ‘plotted attack on Olympics’
Suspected militants arrested in western China earlier this year were planning attacks on the Beijing Olympics, a Chinese official says.
Two people were reported to have been killed and 15 arrested in a raid on 27 January in Urumqi, Xinjiang province.
Officials now say their aim was to attack the August Olympics.
The alleged plot was disclosed as officials also revealed that a plane crew prevented an apparent attempt to crash a jet on an internal flight.
Kashgar market scene
The incident occurred on Friday.
The flight also originated in Urumqi, and was bound for Beijing.
The China Southern Airlines plane landed safely despite an attempt “to create an air disaster”, said Xinjiang Governor Nur Bekri.
He gave few details about the alleged attack.
“Who the people involved in the incident were, where they were from, what their aim was and what their background was, we are now investigating,” he said.
But he said there was “an attempt to crash the plane”, and that the crew responded and brought the plane to an emergency landing in the city of Lanzhou, in neighbouring Gansu province, with no damage or injuries.
Reuters quoted an anonymous source saying inflammable material was found in the plane’s toilet, and that at least two passengers on the flight were taken into custody.
There was no confirmation of this.
Mr Bekri was speaking on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament in Beijing.
At the same event, the boss of the Communist Party in Xianjing, Wang Lequan, said January’s raid in Urumqi had thwarted a plot to attack the Olympics.
“Their aim was very clear,” he said. “Specifically to sabotage the staging of the Beijing Olympics.”
“Those terrorists, saboteurs and secessionists are to be battered resolutely, no matter what ethnic group they are from,” said Mr Wang.
China has been struggling for years to contain separatist sentiment among the Uighur minority in Xinjiang.
Some Uighurs have campaigned for the mainly Muslim province to become an independent republic.
The Xinjiang governor, himself an ethnic Uighur, said only a “very small number of people” in the region support the separatists.
“They don’t represent the Uighur people,” he added.