Bomb threat to Afghan plane

BEIJING: A plane flying from Afghanistan to Urumqi, the capital of China's troubled Xinjiang region, reported a bomb threat but was refused permission to land, the official Chinese news agency said Monday.

Xinhua news agency, citing police sources, said security and emergency teams had gone to the airport in Urumqi.

It said the sources had earlier told it that the plane had been hijacked.

Citing diplomatic sources in the Afghan capital Kabul, Xinhua then said that the aircraft had returned to Afghanistan, landing in the southern city of Kandahar.

The brief Xinhua report gave no further details.

In early July, ethnic violence in Xinjiang left 197 people dead, most of them Han Chinese killed by angry mobs from China's Uighur minority.

Uighurs, a mainly Muslim minority, in Xinjiang claim they have suffered political and religious persecution since Chinese troops "peacefully liberated" the vast region 60 years ago.