Blast rocks Chinese railway station in region plagued by Islamist violence

BEIJING - An explosion hit a railway station in the capital of China's far western region of Xinjiang on Wednesday injuring some people, in what is likely to be seen as an embarrassing security lapse for the government.

The blast happened at Urumqi's south railway station, a government spokesman, and came just as President Xi Jinping was wrapping up a tour of Xinjiang in which he spoke of plans to get tough on fighting terrorism.

The People's Daily said on its official microblog that some people had been injured and taken to hospital. The government and state media did not give a cause for the blast.

Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been beset by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists.

Exiles and many rights groups say the real cause of the unrest is China's heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Muslim Uighur people who call Xinjiang home.

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