URUMQI, May 25 (Xinhua) -- A former governor of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has urged thorough eradication of terrorism for the region's stability.
Thirty-nine innocent people were killed and 94 others injured in the deadliest terror attack in Xinjiang in recent years when two vehicles plowed into crowds of an open market and set off explosive devices in the regional capital Urumqi on Thursday morning.
The attack was "an organized, premeditated serious violent terrorist case with careful masterminding, sudden execution and of an extremely vile nature", said Ismail Tiliwaldi in a bylined article published on www.ts.cn, an official website sponsored by the regional authorities.
The horrific crime must be given the severest condemnation, said Tiliwaldi, former chairman of Xinjiang government and former deputy chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.
We must harshly punish terror crimes and always maintain the high-handed crackdown on terrorist forces and resolutely eradicate the hotbed of violent terrorism, he said in the article.
The instigators and executors of the May 22 attack, selected a crowded public venue, rammed into people wilfully and set off blasts targeting defenseless and unguarded citizens, he said.
They vainly attempted to attract attention through a large-scale bloody incident and maliciously sow ethnic estrangement and cause hatred and opposition to achieve their criminal plot of separating the country, said the article.
Combining ethnic separatism, religious extremism with violent terrorism, the criminal gangs represented by "East Turkistan" terrorism forces have continuously committed serious violent crimes in recent years, severely infringed the safety of lives and properties of people of all ethnic groups, it added.
They have increasingly turned into a cancer imperiling economic development and social stability, said the article.
"We must always be clear-headed and fully aware of the long-term, arduous and complicated struggle against the 'three forces' [terrorism, separatism and extremism], with all measures including the mobilization of everyday people and the strengthening of anti-terrorism forces in information technology and international cooperation," it said.
Fund chains and communication channels which terrorist forces rely on must be cut off and the root of terrorism and religious extremism must be eradicated, said the article.