China to assist Kyrgyzstan with embassy attack investigation

AP News
Posted: Sep 07, 2016 7:17 AM

BEIJING (AP) — China said Wednesday that it would assist Kyrgyzstan in apprehending those behind a suicide car bombing on the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek last week that has been blamed on members of a group seeking independence for China's far western region of Xinjiang.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing has been providing help to its Central Asian neighbor throughout the investigation into the Aug. 30 incident, which killed the bomber and injured three embassy employees.

"China will continue to support Kyrgyzstan with utmost effort to thoroughly investigate the incident and bring the assailant to justice," Hua said.

Kyrgyz authorities identified the attacker as a member of the Turkic Muslim Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) minority group native to Xinjiang. It said he was a member of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, acting on the orders of Uighur militants in Syria linked to the al-Nusra Front, which has ties to al-Qaida.

Hua said China would further boost anti-terror cooperation with the international community, including Kyrgyzstan, "in a bid to maintain the peace and tranquility of every nation in the world, including China."

Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked former Soviet republic, has a predominantly Muslim population that is considered moderate in outlook, along with a large exile Uighur population.

The Chinese regularly have blamed separatists and religious extremists for attacks in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China. Al-Qaida and the Islamic State group also have threatened to attack Chinese targets in retaliation for alleged repression of Uighurs and other Chinese Muslims.

Hundreds of Uighurs have been reported as fighting in the conflict in Syria, some alongside extremist groups.