Beijing — At least two people were killed and several injured as China’s Xinjiang region was hit by a series of deadly explosions on Sunday, the authorities said.
The blasts occurred in multiple locations across Xinjiang, an ethnically sensitive region that has experienced a spate of violent incidents in the recent months. According to the government operated Tianshan news portal, three powerful explosions took place at about 5 p.m. in Luntai County, located in the southwest of the regional capital, Urumqi.
Although the report said the injured were rushed to the hospital, it did not give any information on how many people suffered injuries or what was the cause behind the explosions.
Also on the same day of the explosions, 17 government officials were punished in southern Xinjiang for failing to prevent a lethal attack by a terrorist gang on July 28, which left 37 people dead.
Over 200 people were killed in Xinjiang this year due attacks on civilians and clashes between the security forces and locals. The Chinese Government holds the Muslim Uighur minority group responsible for the trouble brewing in the region. The rights group on the other hand says the Uighurs have been religiously oppressed, leading to a stronger resentment.
The attack in the capital Urumqi in May that left 30 dead and the one at a train station at Kunming in March, in which 29 people were killed, are clear proof that the assaults are only growing with time, and are no longer limited to the region.
As the explosions shook China on Sunday, the country’s supreme court formed and distributed new guidelines pertaining to cases related to terrorism.
According to the new regulations, creating and displaying banners or other materials that showcase religious extremism will be seen as a criminal act. Also, religious insults of any kind could become the base for a criminal conviction.