August 9, 2008 / 11:49 PM / 11 years ago

Blasts kill two in China's restive Xinjiang -Xinhua

(Adds number of dead)

BEIJING, Aug 10 (Reuters) - A series of blasts killed at least two people in China’s restive farwestern Xinjiang on Sunday, nearly a week after an attack in the region killed 16, state media said.

The blasts in Kuqa, a county of 400,000 more than 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from Beijing, came on the second full day of the Olympics in the capital which China has said have been targeted by militants from Xinjiang.

There were sporadic sounds of gunfire after the explosions, Xinhua news agency said. Police had cordoned off the area where the blasts occurred and military forces had been deployed.

Security officials in the regional capital of Urumqi were not immediately available for comment.

An attack at a border police station in Xinjiang, China’s far western region, killed 16 police on Monday. Two Muslim Uighur suspects have been detained.

China has said it has foiled militant plots targeting the Olympics and in the first six months of the year police detained dozens of people, many Uighurs, in Xinjiang accused of plotting to sabotage the Games, according to state media.

Human rights critics and exiled Uighurs say Beijing has exaggerated the threat of violence in Xinjiang and stirred discontent by encouraging the migration of millions of Han Chinese into the region.

Uighurs now make up slightly less than half of its 20 million people, according to official statistics. (Reporting by Simon Rabinovitch; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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