Xinjiang’s top official has vowed no mercy on terrorists and “illegal religious activities,” following a series of attacks in late July that left at least 14 dead and 42 injured in Kashgar city, Reuters reported. “In order to firmly curb the current spate of violent terrorist acts … (we must) exert the highest pressure on the crackdown against terrorists,” said Zhang Chunxian, Xinjiang province’s Chinese Communist Party chief, in a speech to party members on Friday. Officials have blamed Islamic extremists for the recent violence. The attacks also highlight ethnic tensions in Xinjiang, where Muslim Uyghurs have long resented the presence of Han Chinese and the political and religious controls exerted by Beijing. Zhang’s comments follow remarks by Meng Jianzhu, China’s top police official, who said that China should have no mercy for those who engage in terrorist activities.