Beijing tightens security on gasoline purchases

by Reuters
Monday, 12 May 2014 04:42 GMT

BEIJING, May 12 (Reuters) - Beijing will require buyers of gasoline to register their names and intended use of the fuel, the official People's Daily reported on Monday, as China tightens security in the wake of a string of violent attacks by militants.

China has grown increasingly nervous about domestic unrest and Islamist militants since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October. In March, 29 people were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.

Those seeking to buy gasoline must first register at their local police station and explain what they aim to do with their purchase, in a measure intended to "prevent law-breakers from using gasoline to create disturbances," the paper reported.

Exile groups and rights activists say China's heavy-handed policies in the restive western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people, have sowed the seeds of unrest.

Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been plagued by violence for years, blamed by the government on Islamist militants and separatists.

Police last week shot dead an assailant who attacked a police vehicle with knives in Xinjiang.

The gasoline sale regulations were put in place by several public security bodies, People's Daily said.

Registrants must also provide their government identification numbers and tell police how much gasoline they plan to buy.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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