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China starts anti-terror crackdown

China has launched a nationwide, year-long "anti-terror operation", state media said yesterday, days after announcing a similar crackdown targeting the troubled Xinjiang region following an attack which killed dozens.

Security forces were ordered to prevent militants moving beyond the region in China's far west, which has a large Muslim Uighur minority and where five suicide bombers struck on Thursday in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi.

"Police are urged to stop terrorists from striking again and prevent terrorists and religious extremists from spreading to the rest of the country," said the official Xinhua news agency, citing China's Ministry of Public Security.

A similar campaign was launched in Xinjiang on Friday after the region's deadliest attack in years which state media reported had killed 31 people at a vegetable market. The attackers ploughed two vehicles into an open market and hurled explosives. Many of the 94 wounded were elderly shoppers, according to witnesses.

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