BEIJING (Reuters) – China insisted on Monday it will be able to hold a safe Summer Olympics after officials said they had foiled two terrorist plots, while activists expressed skepticism about the extent of any threat.
Wang Lequan, Communist Party boss in Xinjiang, where the largely Muslim, Uighur minority has agitated for greater autonomy and rights, told reporters police had shot dead two members of a “terrorist gang” in a January raid and rounded up 15 others whose aim was to disrupt the Games.
Other officials from the far-northwestern region said a passenger jet originating in Xinjiang was forced to halt on Friday after the discovery of what the state-run Xinhua news agency called a “planned terrorist attack.”
“From the very beginning we have attached great importance to Olympic security,” said Sun Weide, a spokesman for Beijing’s Olympic Organising Committee. “We are confident that we will be able to have a safe Olympic Games.”