Explosion in China’s Xinjiang kills seven, injures 14

An explosion in China’s restive Xinjiang region left seven people dead and another 14 injured on Thursday, state media reported.

Police have already caught a suspect at the site of the blast, which happened in the outskirts of the city of Aksu, Tianshannet.com, a news website run by the regional government, reported.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the incident involved the explosion of an electric tricycle. Neither reports mentioned whether authorities suspect an attack.

The far-western Xinjiang region, where the mainly Muslim Uighur minority has long seethed against Chinese rule, has experienced several violent bouts of unrest in recent years.

On July 5 last year, the regional capital Urumqi was torn in two when Uighurs vented decades of resentment on members of China’s dominant Han group.

Han mobs took to the streets in the following days seeking revenge. Nearly 200 people were killed and 1,700 injured in all, the government says, in the worst ethnic violence in China in decades.

Several violent attacks also took place in different cities in Xinjiang in 2008 before and during the Beijing Olympics, leaving dozens dead.

In June, police said they had busted a Xinjiang “terrorist” ring behind a string of deadly attacks in the region, arresting at least 10 people.