December 12, 2019 / 8:20 AM / 2 months ago

Chinese paramilitary conduct anti-terror drill in Xinjiang mountains: CCTV

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese paramilitary troops staged high altitude, anti-terror training in the Pamir mountains in the restive Xinjiang region in western China, according to a video broadcast by state television on Thursday.

The training was conducted at heights of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) and lasted seven days and nights, with troops climbing mountains, crossing icy rivers and using drones to target “thugs” with stolen guns.

The video shows the troops surrounding a hut where a suspect is hiding and then start shooting at him as he ran out.

The aim of the drill was to allow troops to succeed in “wild, unfamiliar, and complicated conditions,” CCTV said.

China blames unrest in Xinjiang on Islamist militants and has been waging an anti-terror campaign in the region in recent years.

Rights groups and exiles say anger at tightening Chinese controls on the religion and culture of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang is more to blame for the unrest.

The United Nations and human rights groups estimate that between 1 million and 2 million people, mostly ethnic Uighur Muslims, have been detained in camps under the anti-terror campaign.

China has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of Uighurs and says the camps provide vocational training. It describes the detainees as students.

The government says there have been no terror attacks in the past three years as result of these strict measures.

Last week, it released a multi-part documentary on past terrorist attacks in Urumqi, Beijing and Kunming cities on its official English language broadcaster CGTN.

Reporting by Huizhong Wu; Editing by Michael Perry

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