SHAFAQNA – Chinese Muslims from Xinjiang have fought alongside Islamic State militants, a top Chinese official says.
The comments came from Zhang Chunxian, party chief in Xinjiang, which is home to the Uighur Muslim minority group.
Zhang said some of the fighters had returned to Xinjiang “to participate in terrorist plots”, but gave no further details.
Xinjiang, in China’s far west, has seen a series of deadly attacks and clashes in recent years.
Speaking during China’s annual parliament session on Tuesday, Zhang noted there were “Uighurs that have fled overseas and joined the Islamic State”.
“The organisation has a huge international influence and Xinjiang can’t keep aloof from it and we have already been affected,” he said. “We have also found that some who fought returned to Xinjiang to participate in terrorist plots.”
Zhang’s comments come almost three months after state daily the Global Times reported that about 300 Chinese nationals were fighting with IS in Iraq and Syria, citing unidentified security personnel.