Police are under new orders to crack down on activities involving illegal explosives and quickly dispose of any bomb materials they confiscate. A Public Security Ministry directive issued to all local officials said the measures aimed to maintain stability and protect people and property, Xinhua said. Beijing is worried about the potential for social unrest from the hundreds of thousands of laid-off workers. There were sporadic riots across the country after pyramid sales schemes were banned last month. Beijing is also wary of possible bomb attacks by Muslim separatists in Xinjiang province and by other dissident minorities. Xinhua said all government units and individuals were strictly banned from making, selling or buying, transporting, mailing or storing explosive materials. If convicted, culprits face anything from three to 10 years in prison. Serious cases involve the death sentence. An amnesty period of 20 days is now being offered with lenient treatment for those who give themselves up.