Chinese official fired for not fighting extremism

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BEIJING (AP) — A Communist Party official who oversaw a portion of China's restive northwestern Muslim region of Xinjiang has been dismissed on charges including that he failed to do enough to fight extremism.

Zhang Jinbiao, the party secretary for Hotan, is accused of "serious violations" including failing to carry out anti-terrorism work and improperly accepting gifts, said a statement by the ruling party's top discipline body.

The statement Saturday by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection gave no details but said Zhang's failure to carry out anti-extremism work had "serious consequences."

Thousands of Chinese officials accused of financial offenses have been snared in a marathon anti-graft crackdown. But accusations of failing to carry out political duties such as anti-terrorism work are rare.

Chinese authorities have steadily tightened controls on Xinjiang, where they say radical Islamic thought has infiltrated the region from Central Asia.

Communist leaders including President Xi Jinping have told local officials to see that Muslim minorities in Xinjiang assimilate into the majority Han Chinese culture.

Over the past year, authorities in Xinjiang have ramped up surveillance measures and police patrols amid an uptick in violence blamed on Islamic separatists.

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