With Games Days Away, China Reports Border Raid China justifies heavy security for the Beijing Olympics by claiming it faces a terrorist threat from Islamist separatists. On Monday, state media reported that unidentified assailants raided a border patrol station in the Far West, where separatists are demanding an independent state.
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With Games Days Away, China Reports Border Raid

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With Games Days Away, China Reports Border Raid

With Games Days Away, China Reports Border Raid

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

China's state media says a border patrol station has been attacked. It happened in China's far west, where separatists are demanding an independent state, and that news comes even as China justifies heavy security at the Olympics by claiming it faces a terrorist threat. Here's NPR's Anthony Kuhn.

ANTHONY KUHN: According to the report from Xinhua news agency, the attackers used a dump truck to ram their way into a paramilitary police border patrol station near Kashgar. Kashgar is an oasis town on the old Silk Road. It's in Xinjiang province, which borders on central Asia. Xinhua said the attackers lobbed two hand grenades, killing 16 paramilitary policemen and injuring 16 others. The report called the assailants rioters, but it didn't identify them.

China's military is deploying some 34,000 troops to Beijing and other Olympic host cities to prevent just this sort of attack. In charge of the troops is Senior Colonel Tian Yixiang, who briefed reporters on Friday.

COLONEL TIAN YIXIANG (China): (Through translator) I believe that during the Olympic Games time, terrorist organizations both in and outside China will attempt to sabotage and interfere with the proceeding of the games. As far as the Beijing Olympic Games is concerned, the biggest terrorist threat comes from the East Turkestan terrorist organization.

KUHN: The U.S. has listed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist group, but Western governments are concerned that Beijing is using the terrorist threat to suppress discontent among Muslim minorities in China's border region. Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing.

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