Beijing arrests five ‘terrorists’ in crackdown

May 28, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

BEIJING:  Chinese police have broken up a ”terrorist gang” in the restive western region of Xinjiang, the local government said yesterday, arresting five people conspiring to launch attacks with explosives, days after a deadly blast in the capital, Urumqi. 

China has announced a year-long anti-terrorism operation in Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur  minority, as well as nationwide, following a series of bloody attacks that Beijing blames on Islamists and separatists from the region. 

Monday’s arrests in the Hotan area of southern Xinjiang, reported on the local government’s news website, come after authorities said they had caught more than 200 suspects in 23 “terror and religious extremist groups” in May. 

Police in Hotan arrested five gang members, destroyed two explosive-making sites and seized 1.8 tonnes of explosive raw materials, the Tianshan news website reported. 

Nepal probes ‘chopper’ climb

KATHMANDU:  Nepal said yesterday it was investigating whether a Chinese woman, this season’s sole climber of Mount Everest from the Nepalese side, used a helicopter to reach a high camp after a deadly avalanche last month washed away part of the route. 

Using a helicopter would constitute a serious moral violation of tradition in climbing the world’s highest peak. But Wang Jing, 40, who completed the climb last Friday, denied she had used the aircraft to advance up the mountain. 

Wang completed her climb with five Sherpa guides arranged privately to become the first to go up from the Southeast Ridge route after the deadliest accident in the mountain’s history. 

Authorities said they were looking into reports that Wang took the helicopter and flew over the route damaged by the avalanche to the site of Camp IIat 6,400 metres. Agencies