Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Chinese hotels warned of extremist attacks next week

AGENCIES , BEIJING

Chinese police have warned luxury hotels that Islamic extremists may be planning attacks in the coming week, the US embassy said yesterday in a statement on its Web site.

"The embassy has learned that Chinese police advised hotels that Islamic extremist elements could be planning to attack four- and five-star hotels in China some time over the course of the next week," it said.

The warning urged Americans visiting Chinese four- and five-star hotels to "review their plans carefully, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security, and exercise caution."

Chinese authorities told the embassy they were taking appropriate security measures and investigating the possible threat, the embassy said.

The warning comes 10 days before US President George W. Bush arrives in Beijing on Nov. 19.

A host of other US officials are due in China next week, including US Trade Representative Rob Portman and Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said she was unable to immediately comment on the US statement.

"We have put the question forward to the concerned departments and we are trying to better understand the situation," she said.

The embassy warning did not say if the extremists it referred to were from China or abroad.

Many people in mostly-Muslim Xinjiang seek independence for the region and complain of inequities under Chinese rule.

Uighurs agitating to create an independent state of East Turkestan have been accused of violence in the past.

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