China busts 181 ‘terror’ gangs in year-long crackdown in Muslim region

BEIJING: A “strike hard” campaign against what China calls terrorism in the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang and beyond has seen 181 gangs busted, authorities said Monday, a year after the controversial measures were launched.

Rights groups have labelled the crackdown discriminatory, raising further concerns after Beijing announced in January the measures would be extended until at least the end of 2015.

Authorities launched the campaign after 39 people were killed last May in a bloody market attack which was blamed on separatists in Urumqi, the capital of the vast, north-western region of Xinjiang.