PAYING TRIBUTE: A memorial service is held on April 29 for 15 community workers and police officers killed six days earlier in a terrorist attack in south Xinjiang's Bachu County (CFP)
On April 23, a clash happened between armed attackers and authorities in Selibuya Township in Bachu County, south Xinjiang's Kashgar Prefecture, located some 1,200 km southwest of Urumqi, in which 15 community workers and police officers and six attackers were killed.
Police said that 25 suspects carried out the attack and were planning a bigger attack in Kashgar in south Xinjiang. They found 20 explosive devices, a large amount of bomb-making equipment, knives, combat-training material and illegal extremist religious pamphlets.
In the wake of recent rising terrorist attacks, authorities have pledged to crack down on terrorism on many occasions.
On June 28, President Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee to arrange the work of safeguarding social stability in Xinjiang and the interests of people of all ethnic groups.
The next day, Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, went to Xinjiang to oversee the work.
In a video conference with officials from across Xinjiang on June 29, Yu said that the country will impose severe punishments on those responsible for the crimes and crack down on terrorist groups and extremist organizations.
He also urged the region to ensure stability. Maintaining social stability was the work of grassroots organizations, which would have to be more effective to prevent acts of terror, Yu added.
At an anti-terror rally by armed police in Xinjiang on the same day, State Councilor Meng Jianzhu called for 24-hour patrols to guarantee the safety of local residents.
Meng also asked armed police to take precautionary and preemptive measures to strike at terrorism.
Xinjiang police issued a notice on July 2 offering rewards of 50,000 ($8,145) yuan to 100,000 yuan ($16,290) for tips that help solve criminal cases involving violence or terrorism.
It also released a wanted list of 11 suspects, encouraging residents to provide information. Three of those on the list are accused of making explosives for a foiled plot to attack government buildings and police on May 26.
Two others on the wanted list are suspected of killing two security guards in Hotan as well as several construction workers in June.
Police have also detained more than 20 people for making up and spreading false rumors via text messages and the Internet.
Back in May, a month after the April 23 terrorist attack in Bachu, Zhang Chunxian, Party Secretary of Xinjiang, wrote in an article for Qiushi, the Party's flagship magazine, that over the past three years the authorities have foiled more than 96 percent of planned separatist and terrorist attacks.
On June 29, a commentary published by the CPC's flagship newspaper People's Daily said that the violent attacks have become an overt provocation to the safety of people's lives and the country's unity and threats to people's fundamental interests, as well as the stability of Xinjiang.
"The violent terrorist incidents cannot stop the progress of Xinjiang's reform and construction, or sway people's determination and confidence in promoting development and maintaining stability," the commentary reads. "This tragedy will let more people make a clear distinction between right and wrong and unite the people to consolidate Xinjiang's development momentum and social stability."
In 2010, China launched a 10-year program to develop its western areas, and major eastern and central cities have stepped up aid to Xinjiang to help it develop economically.