Police in China’s restive Xinjiang seized 1.8 tons of bombmaking material and detained five people, authorities said Tuesday.
Officers in and around Hotan in southern Xinjiang “destroyed two explosive-making dens and seized 1.8 tons of raw material that the gang planned to use to make explosive devices, along with a large amount of partly finished explosive devices”, reported the regional government’s Tianshan website.
In recent days the group began making explosive devices with the goal of “driving into a crowded place, running people over and setting off bombs” in Hotan, it said.
The gang had watched videos promoting terrorism and religious extremism, it added, and said the group’s leader had instructed members to acquire materials from Urumqi and elsewhere in China.
China vowed a year-long crackdown on terrorism over the weekend with violence blamed on separatists from Xinjiang increasingly targeting civilians and spreading far outside the western region in recent months.