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China's western Xinjiang region says multiple explosions kill 2 people, injure many others

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BEIJING — Multiple explosions in a county in China's western region of Xinjiang have killed at least two people and injured many others, regional authorities said Monday.

The explosions happened at about 5 p.m. Sunday in at least three places of Luntai county, according to a report on the Tianshan news portal, which is run by the regional branch of the Communist Party. Luntai county is in central Xinjiang, 360 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of the capital, Urumqi.

"Public security officers quickly handled the situation," it said, without giving details.

The brief statement said the unspecified number of injured had been taken to hospital and an investigation was under way.

Xinjiang has experienced rising unrest in recent months blamed on militants from the region's native Muslim Turkic Uighur ethnic group seeking to overthrow Chinese rule.

Authorities said that on July 28 a terrorist gang attacked a police station and government buildings in Shache county near Kashgar, killing 37 people before police shot dead 59 of the attackers.

Two days later, a leading pro-government Muslim cleric was murdered in a Kashgar mosque.

State media reported Sunday that Communist Party officials in Xinjiang had punished 17 officials and police officers for their failures relating to the two July incidents. He Limin, the party chief of Shache county, was stripped of his party position and demoted, and the deputy party chief and county police chief were both fired.

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