China: Explosion report rejected by authorities

Beijing, 8 August (AKI) - Chinese authorities have denied reports that a deadly explosion occurred in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang in the country's northwest on Friday.

According to a report on the Arab network, al-Jazeera, nine people were reported to have been killed in an explosion in the city of Ili, in the country's predominantly Muslim autonomous region.

Local sources told a correspondent from the Arab television network, al-Jazeera, that a big explosion occurred hours before the Olympic Games were due to begin in Beijing on Friday (photo).

Meanwhile, an Air China flight from central Japan was forced to turn back on Friday after the airline received a bomb threat in an email.

Japanese police said the email also included a threat to attack the Beijing Olympic Games site.

Sixteen policemen were killed in a bomb attack in the restive Muslim region on Monday.

Last month a group calling itself the Turkestan Islamic Party claimed responsibility for several bus bombings in Shanghai and Kunming, capital of the southwestern province of Yunnan.

Turkestan is another name for Xinjiang. The province is home to several ethnic groups but is mainly made up of Muslim Uighurs, who have a Turkic language and culture.


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