World

2 dead, several injured by blasts in China's Xinjiang region

Several explosions rocked a county in western China on Sunday, killing at least two people and seriously injuring several others, a hospital official and state media said.

Several explosions rocked a county in western China on Sunday, killing at least two people and seriously injuring several others, a hospital official and state media said.

The early morning blasts occurred in Kuqa county in the south of the Muslim region of Xinjiang, said a woman who was on duty at the emergency unit of the Kuqa People's Hospital.

"There were several explosions in several places in the county seat of Kuqa this morning and we heard them from the hospital," said the woman, who would only give her last name, Tian.

Several people were taken to hospital, where seven are reported to be in critical condition.

The official Xinhua news agency cited witnesses as saying they saw flashes of fire and heard gunshots following the explosions, which took place between 3:20 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. local time.

Xinhua said local military sources confirmed the incident and said they have deployed forces to the area, while police have sealed off the area where the explosions occurred.

Already normally tight security in Xinjiang was increased after assailants killed 16 border police and wounded 16 others in the city of Kashgar on Monday when they rammed a stolen truck into the group before tossing homemade bombs and stabbing some of the victims.

The explosions also come after an Islamic group seeking independence for Xinjiang province threatened Thursday to attack buses, trains and planes during the two-week Olympic competition.