BEIJING  - China insisted on Thursday it faced a serious terror threat in its Muslim-majority far northwest ahead of the Olympics, as it announced 82 "suspected terrorists" had been detained there this year. The 82 belonged to five groups that "allegedly plotted sabotage against the Beijing Olympics," the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the police chief in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang region that borders Central Asia. The announcement came a day after state Press said police shot dead five knife-wielding Muslims and detained 10 others in Urumqi who allegedly wanted to launch a "holy war". Exiled members of Xinjiang's Turkic-speaking Uighur population have repeatedly denied that a major terrorist threat exists in the region. They have accused the Chinese government of exaggerating or fabricating the threat as an excuse to crack down on all forms of dissent ahead of next month's Games. But in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao was adamant that that terrorism in Xinjiang was a genuine threat. "I would like to stress that there are terrorist activities in Xinjiang, and when it comes to counter-terrorism, the Chinese government's attitude is very solid," Liu told a Press briefing on Thursday. "The public security authorities, in dealing with these terrorist organisations, have taken some actions against them, and the facts prove that in this region, there are terrorist groups engaging in terrorist activities."