Uighurs 'planned to go to Iraq and Syria'

People being deported from Thailand seated in an airplane while flanked by police at an unidentified location in China.
People being deported from Thailand seated in an airplane while flanked by police at an unidentified location in China.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • Some of the Uighurs deported to China last week from Thailand had planned to go to Syria and Iraq to take part in militant activities, state broadcaster CCTV said, showing pictures of them being bundled out of an aircraft.

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Uighur Muslims keen to escape unrest in China's western Xinjiang region have travelled clandestinely via South-east Asia to Turkey.

Last week's deportation of 109 Uighurs from Thailand has sparked anger in Turkey, home to a large Uighur diaspora, and fed concern among human rights groups and the United States that they could be mistreated upon their return.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2015, with the headline 'Uighurs 'planned to go to Iraq and Syria''. Print Edition | Subscribe