Chinese state media say the top military general in the volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang has been replaced following what the government calls a terrorist strike in the heart of the capital Beijing.

The ruling Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said Peng Yong was relieved of his position on the party's regional standing committee. While the paper did not give an explicit reason for the move, the timing appears to link it to the Oct. 28 attack in which a man driving an SUV accompanied by his wife and mother plowed through crowds before crashing in front of Tiananmen Gate, killing themselves and two tourists.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, which Beijing has blamed on Islamic extremists seeking independence for the Turkic Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang.