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Police offer $16,000 reward for leads on Xinjiang railway bombers

By Zoe Li, CNN
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
A police poster asking for information on the suspects of the April 30 Xinjiang railway bombing.
A police poster asking for information on the suspects of the April 30 Xinjiang railway bombing.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • After declaring the attack "case closed" last week, police now looking for fresh leads
  • RMB 100,000 offered to anyone with crucial information on the suspects
  • Images of suspects releases in a reward notice by police

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Chinese police are appealing to the public for leads on the alleged assailants of the bombing and knife attacks that took place in the country's restive Xinjiang province last week.

A notice from the Saybagh District police station in Urumqi, the provincial capital of Xinjiang in western China, was posted online on Saturday afternoon and widely circulated by Chinese media. It announces the RMB 100,000 ($16,000) reward for anyone who can offer crucial information on the suspects of the attacks.

Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported Thursday that police had closed the case on the April 30 bombing and knife attacks that took place at Urumqi South Railway Station. Two people, described as religious extremists, were blamed for the incident, one of which was identified as Sedirdin Sawut, a 39-year-old man from Aksu in southern Xinjiang.

Both suspects were killed in the blast together with one innocent bystander. Another 79 people were injured in the attack.

China's ethnic tensions
Tensions in western China

According to the reward notice, the police are now looking for fresh leads. The online poster shows photos of the suspected assailants, one of which is a purportedly a headshot of the corpse of the dead suspect.

The reward notice has since been taken offline, but a Xinjiang police officer surnamed Wang was able to confirm to CNN that the reward offer is still in effect. He would not say why the notice was taken offline.

Armed police presence

Xinhua, quoting police, also said "knife-wielding mobs" attacked people at one of the station's exits following the blast.

The station reopened about two hours after the incident with passengers entering under a heavily-armed police presence.

The attacks coincided with the end of a four-day tour of the region by President Xi Jinping.

After the blast, President Xi urged "decisive actions" against violent terrorist attacks.

The fight against separatist violence in the autonomous region in the northwest of the country was a focus of the Chinese leader's visit.

READ: Assailants in Xinjiang blast identified says Chinese media

CNN's Dayu Zhang contributed to this report.

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