Militants from Xinjiang who had joined the Islamic State group in the Middle East have been arrested after they returned home, the autonomous region's top official says. "I believe there are extremists from Xinjiang who have joined Islamic State," Xinjiang Communist Party boss Zhang Chunxian said yesterday. "We have recently arrested some groups who returned [to Xinjiang] after joining the group," he added without elaborating. Zhang was speaking during a meeting of the Xinjiang delegation at the National People's Congress, which is holding its annual plenary session in Beijing. China's special envoy on Middle East Affairs, Wu Sike, previously said about 100 Xinjiang Islamic militants had travelled to the Middle East for training and that some had remained to join the fighting. Earlier this year, a Malaysian senior official cited visiting Chinese public security deputy minister Meng Hongwei as saying that more than 300 Uygurs had fled China to join overseas jihads in Malaysia. Zhang said Xinjiang would take measures to fight against Islamic State's influence in the region and to prevent more Xinjiang people from joining it. "The risk is real [that some will flee to join Islamic State], and it has already happened," he said. "Xinjiang cannot stay out of the [global fight against Islamic State]. We are also affected." For all the latest news from China’s parliamentary sessions click here Islamic State forces are fighting in Iraq and Syria to create an Islamic caliphate in the region, and their cause has attracted Muslim militants from around the world. China has been hit by a series of violent attacks in recent months that the authorities have blamed on Muslim separatists from Xinjiang. These included a knife attack at a Kunming train station in Yunnan last March, which was reportedly carried out by a group of terrorists after their attempts to flee the border and become jihadis overseas fell through. Xinjiang deputy party chief Che Jun said "95 per cent" of terrorist ploys in the region had been foiled. The local authorities planned to dispatch all its 200,000 officials to the villages to curb the spread of religious extremism, and the plan had already been put into action last year, Xinjiang deputy chairman Gela Yishamudin said. "We organised sports games and cultural events," he said. "And the second batch of 70,000 officials has already been sent to the villages." Zhang also spoke briefly about last week's knife attack at a Guangzhou railway station that left nine people injured, calling it an "incident of violence". But he declined to speculate on who was responsible. Three witnesses told the South China Morning Post the three attackers appeared to be Uygurs, one of whom was shot dead by police.