China warns citizens in Algeria of Al Qaeda threat
The terrorist group has reportedly vowed to attack Chinese in North Africa to avenge the deaths of Muslim Uighurs in China's Xinjiang Province.
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China has warned its citizens in Algeria of possible attacks after reports that Al Qaeda has vowed to seek revenge for the deaths of Muslim Uighurs during riots in China's Xinjiang Province earlier this month.
The threat by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group's branch in North Africa, is the first that the global terror network has made against Chinese interests. Beijing has courted the Islamic world heavily as it seeks superpower status, establishing a network of trade deals and economic investments that may start to look like soft targets.
At least 192 people were killed during race riots between Han Chinese and Uighurs in the city of Urumqi July 5, reports Agence France-Presse. Most of the victims were Han, according to the Chinese authorities.
The threat was first uncovered by British risk consultancy Stirling Assynt, which says AQIM has vowed to attack the 50,000 Chinese working in Algeria, as well as Chinese interests in the rest of North Africa, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Stirling Assynt said that although AQIM was the first arm to target China, "others are likely to follow". It said that it had monitored an increase in internet "chatter" among possible jihadists about the need to "avenge the perceived injustices in Xinjiang."
"Some of these individuals have been actively seeking information on China's interests in the Muslim world which they could use for targeting purposes," Stirling Assynt said, adding that locations included North Africa, Sudan, Pakistan and Yemen.