Xinjiang separatists in the past have carried out small bombings in the region and in Beijing in the 1990s, and a handful of Uighurs were detained by the U.S. at Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan. But while China likes to emphasize an al-Qaeda connection to militant separatism in Xinjiang, analysts are less sure of what to make of such claims. Whatever the truth about the alleged terror plots, resentment is growing in areas like Khotan. As violence erupted in Tibet, authorities here arrested large numbers of Uighur men, hoping to preempt similar protests. Instead, the detentions themselves became the focus of protests, according to locals, who claim that hundreds of veiled women demonstrated for independence during a weekly bazaar on March 23. Khotan residents say there have been smaller demonstrations since then, mostly in the countryside.