Attempted terrorist attack on Chinese flight forces emergency landing

Air police on a flight from the western Chinese city of Urumqi to Beijing foiled a would-be terrorist attack on Friday, said Chinese officials. The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in the northwestern city of Lanzhou, after two passengers aboard the flight tried to crash the plane. Everyone aboard the flight arrived safely, and the suspects are in custody in Lanzhou.

Though details of the incident are largely unknown, the state media is calling it a terrorist attack. It’s unclear how the attackers were planning on bringing down the plane, but officials say they found flammable materials in the plane’s toilet.

Urumqi, the city in which the flight originated, is the capital of Xinjiang, a region that is “home to 8 million Muslim Uighurs, many of whom resent the growing presence and economic grip of Han Chinese,” according to Reuters.

This attempted hijacking comes less than two months after Chinese officials say they thwarted a plot to attack the Beijing Olympics– a plot hatched in that same region of Xinjiang.