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Uighurs rejects China’s claims over worker's deaths
The Epoch Times
6/28/2004



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In the wake of the recent deaths of 11 Chinese construction workers in Afghanistan, some Chinese experts claimed that the perpetrators were most likely from the forces of Eastern Turkistan Islamic groups. The Chinese construction workers who were helping to build a highway in Afghanistan were attacked by local armed forces. The World Uighur People’s Congress has protested strongly against such claims of responsibility, pointing to the ongoing cultural and political persecution of the Uighurs by the Chinese government.

In a report by the China Youth, according to Li Shaoxian, the Director of the Research Center of the Third World in the Chinese Modern International Relationship Institute, there are three prime candidates for who may have carried out the attack. They include the Eastern Turkistan Islamic groups, the Taliban and local Afghanistani warlords. According to Li the first possibility was most likely. Li noted that the attack happened at a construction site 36 kilometers south of Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan. The construction site is close to the border between Afghanistan and countries of Central Asia. There is evidence that at the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan there was once a terrorist camp where it is believed that active members of Eastern Turkistan Islamic organizations had resided.

The spokesman of the World Uighur People’s Congress Dilishati informed the Central News Agency that the Chinese governments accusations were unfounded and that they likely have ulterior motives.

Dilishati pointed out that, in fact, there are no Uighur people inside Afghanistan. He said that the Chinese government should investigate the deaths more closely. He added that the government should have realized the risks beforehand, instead of rushing to blame others after the event. The World Uigur People’s Congress has strongly denounced the claims and actions of the Chinese government and media.

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