China on Sunday blamed a separatist militant group for carrying out a deadly attack at a train station in the western Xinjiang region last month.

Citing the regional government, the official Xinhua News Agency said that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement was behind the attack in the regional capital, Urumqi, that killed three people and injured 79 others.

East Turkistan is the name used for Xinjiang by some members of the region's native Uighur ethnic group, extremists among which have been fighting for years a low-intensity insurgency against Chinese rule.

Beijing says the ETIM has ties to overseas supporters of Uighur separatism. The U.S. initially placed it on a terrorist watch list following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but later quietly removed it amid doubts that it existed in any organized manner. It is still listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations.

Xinhua cited the region's publicity department in saying that the attack was planned outside China by an ETIM member called Ismail Yusup.

Calls to the publicity department and information offices of the Xinjiang government, Xinjiang police and Urumqi police rang unanswered.