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Bombing, Protest Raises Fears at Beijing Olympics

Posted August. 05, 2008 04:03,   


A suspected terrorist bombing in an autonomous region of China and a sudden protest in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square have sent off alarm bells ahead of the Summer Olympics.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency yesterday said two men drove a dump truck into a team of unarmed police jogging in Xinjiang Province, western China, throwing two grenades. Sixteen officers were killed and another 16 were injured.

Police said 10 officers were either killed or injured in the crash. When the truck stopped after hitting a roadside pole, the two men got out of the vehicle and threw the two grenades at the officers.

Immediately after the grenades exploded, the attackers resisted with knives but were subdued. While under arrest, one of the two got his leg injured.

An official at Xinjiang’s public security bureau said, “We had information that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which seeks independence for Xinjiang, would attempt terrorist attacks between August 1 and 8.

In Beijing, The Associated Press said 20 people who lost their homes in urban redevelopment for the Olympics held a sudden protest in Tiananmen Square.

On the street south of the square, the protesters chanted, “The happiness of the Beijing Olympics was built on our pain.”

A commercial district for multinational companies including Nike, Starbucks and Rolex will be built where the protesters used to have homes.

The report said the protesters confronted police but did not say if they were arrested.