View from a Rhino House: game, set & matches

A city in Xinjiang province in the PRC (Peoples’ Republic of China) has banned matches & burned-up more than 20,000 boxes of them as part of their own “war against terror”, a state-run newspaper said.

In Fukang, which sits near regional capital Urumqi, the authorities decided to remove all matches from circulation to ensure they are not used by “terrorist groups or individual extremists to carry out criminal activities”, the People’s Daily said on its website.

Police destroyed 20,223 boxes of matches, which will ensure that the city maintains its current peaceful environment, the newspaper claimed, citing an unnamed local government official.

The Fukang mayor’s office made the original announcement last week but it was only picked up by national media yesterday. The statement didn’t explain how the matches have been used for “criminal activities.”

This brave, new experiment in crime prevention comes after a spate of bloody incidents nationwide allegedly centered on Xinjiang, the traditional home of the Muslim Uighurs. The government of the PRC has blamed attacks on Islamist separatists in the region, who, it says, want to establish an independent state there called East Turkestan.

Since there have also been a number of car bomb attacks recently expect to see the internal combustion engine banned soon.

Weapons of mass destruction: the hidden cache.

Weapons of mass destruction: the hidden cache.

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