Updated: 01/25/2014 00:15 | By Agence France-Presse

Triple explosions in China's Xinjiang kill 3

Three people were killed and two were wounded in three explosions in China's Xinjiang, authorities said Friday, in what appears to be the latest incident of unrest in the restive region.

Triple explosions in China's Xinjiang kill 3

Chinese paramilitary police ride in armoured vehicles during a 'show of force' ceremony in Urumqi after a series of terrorist attacks recently hit Xinjiang Province, on June 29, 2013 - by Mark Ralston

Two explosions occurred "in a hairdressers and a market", which resulted in one fatality, before two people died when a car "self-exploded" as police were surrounding it, according to the Tianshan web portal, a local Government mouthpiece in Xinjiang.

The explosions happened in the county seat of Xinhe in the Aksu prefecture at about 6:40pm (1040 GMT), the report said.

Xinjiang has seen regular violent incidents in recent months, usually involving men armed with knives and explosives, according to official media. 

Howver bomb blasts have been relatively rare in the restive, largely Muslim region.

The vast western region has for years seen sporadic unrest by predominantly Muslim Uighurs, which rights groups say is driven by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and immigration by Han Chinese.

Beijing attributes the unrest to religious extremists and separatism.

The most serious recent violent incident took place in the Turpan area of Xinjiang, leaving at least 35 people dead in June.

Last month, eight "attackers" armed with knives and explosives were killed during what officials said was a "terrorist attack" on a police station.

Earlier in December, 16 people, including two police officers, died in a clash near the Silk Road city of Kashgar. The authorities said "thugs" armed with explosive devices and knives attacked police as they attempted to detain them.

But the World Uyghur Congress, an exiled group that campaigns for Uighur rights, described that incident as a "massacre" of a family preparing for a wedding.

In late October, police said three Uighurs drove a vehicle into crowds of tourists opposite Beijing's Tiananmen Square -- the symbolic heart of the Chinese state -- killing two people and injuring 40, before crashing outside the Forbidden City and setting their vehicle ablaze.

All three attackers, described as a man, his wife and his mother, died in the attack.

Beijing described the assault as "terrorism" and said separatists backed by the militant East Turkestan Islamic Movement were responsible.

Information in the area is tightly controlled and difficult to independently verify.

In the worst outbreak of sectarian violence in recent years in China, around 200 people died and more than 1,600 were injured while hundreds were arrested in riots in the Xinjiang regional capital Urumqi in July 2009.

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