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China beefs up security after threat of attacks on foreigners

Beijing: China’s counter-terrorism police units have been deployed in key points in Beijing following threat of attacks on foreigners in the festive season.

The US, UK, French and other embassies put out alerts starting that they had received information of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun area on or around Christmas Day. They have asked their citizens to be vigilant.

Asked about the threats, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media here that China will ensure adequate security for Chinese and foreign nationals in the city.

Contingents of SWAT (Special Weapons Tactics Teams) teams, which specialises in counter-terrorism operations, were deployed in Sunlitun district, which is frequented by foreigners.

Security has also been beefed up at the US, UK and other Western embassies.

Though China has been battling terrorists in Xinjiang and several parts of the country, it is rare to receive open threats.

China blames separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement, an alQaeda backed outfit, for the violence which is active in Xinjiang, where Uyghur Muslims were restive over the settlements of Hans from different parts of the country.