Authorities in China’s Muslim-populated far northwest are seeking to prevent mass prayers and the distribution of religious material as part of a security crackdown for Ramadan, government notices said.
A series of attacks on police in Xinjiang around last month’s Beijing Olympic Games left more than 20 officers and security guards dead, and at least as many attackers killed or arrested, in the biggest unrest there in years.
As the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began, local governments this week issued orders to clamp down on security in the region and stop its ethnic Muslim Uighur population from using the holy month to foment further unrest.
Read more about the security crackdown in Xinjiang via the Opposite End of China blog:
The move is part of plan to do a “carpet search” of Xinjiang for terrorists ahead of National Day on October 1, with 200,000 police officers and militia troops sweeping through the transient Uyghur population in “all mobile lodges, rental apartments and remote villages.”
Xinjiang is also recruiting to dramatically expand the number of anti-terrorist special forces in the region, from 2,000 to 3,000… looks like it’s going to be an interesting few months (or years) out west.