BEIJING - Chinese authorities have denied claims by a Uygur separatist group that it took credit for a series of attacks in different Chinese cities, including deadly bus explosions in Kunming and Shanghai.
Two explosions occurred about an hour apart on two buses during the morning rush hour on Monday in Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan Province, leaving two dead and 14 injured.
"We have noticed media report about the claims, but so far, no evidence has been found to indicate the explosions were connected with terrorists and their attacks, or with the Beijing Olympics," a Yunnan Provincial Department of Public Security spokesman told Xinhua on Saturday.
"As to whether the explosions were masterminded by many suspects or just an individual, there is no conclusion now," he said. "The investigation is continuing."
Local police have tripled the reward to 300,000 yuan (about US$43,500) for information that could help to solve the two blasts.
Also Saturday, Shanghai police reiterated that the May 5 bus blast in the city had nothing to do with "terrorist attacks." Shanghai is a co-host city of next month's Olympics.
An investigation showed that the blast, which killed three people and injured 12, was caused by inflammables such as oil, said Cheng Jiulong, Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau deputy head.
"The blast was indeed deliberate but had nothing to do with terrorist attacks," he said.
Two of the dead were local female residents. Police have yet to confirm the identity of the male victim.
Cheng did not provide further details about the latest development of the case.
A group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party released a video threatening the Beijing Olympic Games, according to AFP and Reuters.
The group also claimed responsibility for several other attacks, including an attack on police in the eastern city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, on July 17 with an explosive-laden tractor and the bombing of a plastics factory in the southern city of Guangzhou on the same day.