July 24, 2015 / 7:17 AM / 2 years ago

China police arrest two 'violent terrorists' in coastal city

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities in the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou have arrested two “violent terrorists”, state media reported on Friday, and accused them of being part of a criminal gang in the city.

The two men were arrested at 5 a.m., said the brief report, posted on state broadcaster China Central Television’s microblog.

Police seized explosives and knives, as well as other weapons, from the pair, and the case remains under investigation, it added.

Provincial, city and county-level officials set up a task force to deal with the issue, it added. Wenzhou is located in the eastern province of Zhejiang, known as one of the country’s manufacturing powerhouses.

The report did not identify the suspects nor say where they were from.

China has grappled with a string of violent knife and bomb attacks over the past two years, particularly in the western region of Xinjiang, home to the Uighur minority, a mostly Muslim people who speak a Turkic language.

Beijing has blamed many of these attacks on Islamic militants who it says seek to form their own state there called East Turkestan.

Rights activists and exile groups say China’s own repressive policies have exacerbated unrest, a charge China strongly denies.

Last week the government said that police in the northeastern city of Shenyang had shot dead three knife-wielding Uighur militants screaming for Islamic holy war.

Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Ben Blanchard

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