A young Uygur woman has confessed to an attempt to hijack and crash a passenger plane from Urumqi , Xinjiang, this month as part of a terrorist plot, the Ministry of Public Security said online yesterday. Turdi Guzalinur, a 19-year-old Islamic passenger, admitted to boarding the plane with a hidden bomb that could bring down the aircraft; deceiving security personnel at the Urumqi airport; and trying to carry out a terrorist attack on March 7, the statement said. Police arrested her and another suspect after the plane, bound for Beijing, made an emergency landing at Zhongchuan airport in Lanzhou, Gansu province . Other suspects were arrested in Xinjiang. 'The police investigation has shown that it was a planned and organised terrorist attack on an air traffic vehicle,' the statement said. But the central government's statement was vague about how many suspects were arrested and the nature of any potential overseas connections. 'With the evidence at hand, we can only say [the attempt] was planned and organised, nothing more,' a ministry spokeswoman said. The ministry's caution is in contrast with fiery remarks by Wang Lequan, Xinjiang's Communist Party chief, who alleged that overseas-based separatists from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement had directed the plot. Xinjiang, like Tibet , is a sensitive region where religious and cultural differences are at odds with central government policy. While Guzalinur's fate remained uncertain, the China Southern Airlines flight attendant who smelled something unusual and found cans of petrol in the plane's toilet was awarded 120,000 yuan (HK$133,084), according to the Southern Metropolis News. The crew, altogether awarded 400,000 yuan by the airline, had located and controlled the suspect and her male collaborator on board, the report said. As a result of the incident, all mainland airports have tightened security checks for domestic and international flights. The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) has since required air passengers to remove their shoes for safety checks, according to Xinhua. The measure, effective countrywide from Wednesday, followed a strict liquid ban for domestic flights on March 13 that cut the maximum amount of carry-on liquids from 1 litre to zero. The CAAC suggested passengers arrive at airports two hours before takeoff because of the more time-consuming security procedures. More than 20 passengers in the Kunming airport filed complaints about having to take off their shoes on Wednesday, according to the New Life Post. But passengers departing from Shanghai were not required to do so, the Xinmin Evening News reported yesterday.