China's official Global Times, citing the Xinjiang Daily, said Gen. Peng Yong was removed from the northwest region's Standing Committee of the Communist Party Committee. The Xinjiang Daily gave no details, only saying Peng will be replaced by Liu Lei, who was appointed commissar of the Xinjiang Military Command in July.
The Global Times said Peng was named commander of the military command in July 2011.
The action came a week after the mysterious deadly vehicle crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in which the vehicle's driver and two occupants and two others in the iconic public square were killed and dozens more injured. Beijing police have called it a terrorist attack and blamed it on Uighur Muslim militants after arresting five people.
The minority Uighur Muslims have expressed concern about the arrests. The World Uighur Congress, which represents the Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, has claimed the Chinese government will not hesitate to "concoct a version of the incident in Beijing" to further impose repressive measures on its people.
The Turkic-speaking Uighurs, who call the Xinjiang region "East Turkestan" and seek autonomy, resent being ruled by Han Chinese. They have staged a number of demonstrations to press demands and dozens of Uighurs have died in a Chinese crackdown on the protests.
Tiananmen Square is known for the 1989 pro-democracy student protests that were crushed by the military.
The Beijing police has said the Tiananmen Square attack was "carefully planned, organized and premeditated." A police statement said the three occupants of the vehicle died after gasoline stored in containers inside it caught fire.
Chinese experts have been quoted as saying that in targeting the Tiananmen Square in the heart of China's capital, the attackers had sought to generate a greater sense of fear and international impact.
The New York Times quoted Uighur exile groups and some Western analysts as saying the Chinese government has failed to produce evidence linking the attack to the group. The newspaper said the Chinese news media has so far not explained what prompted the three people to crash a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle in the square, killing themselves.
China's highest security official, Meng Jianzhu, who is secretary of the Communist Party's Central Politics and Law Commission, blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for the incident in an interview last week with Hong Kong's Phoenix Television.
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