BEIJING (AP) — China says 29 people have been arrested in what it calls an anti-terrorism crackdown in the northwestern region of Xinjiang following a series of deadly attacks blamed on Muslim extremists.

The official Xinjiang online news network said Thursday the arrests were authorized by prosecutors in the capital of Urumqi prior to May 31.

It said those arrested were charged with crimes including incitement to separatism, organizing mobs to disturb social order, operating an illegal business, incitement to ethnic hatred, and ethnic discrimination.

Beijing says the attackers are religious extremists with ties to overseas Islamic terror groups, but has shown little evidence to support that. Activists among the native Turkic Uighur population say the unrest is fueled by resentment against settlers from China’s Han majority and official discrimination and suppressive policies.