Police in Xinjiang shot dead dozens of knife-wielding attackers on Monday morning after they staged assaults on two towns in the westerly Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local police.
Describing the incident as a “premeditated terror attack,” the official Xinhua news agency said a gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku, a township in Kashgar prefecture, and then some of them moved on to nearby Huangdi Township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed.
Dozens of civilians were killed or injured in the attack before police responded by shooting dead dozens of attackers, official media reported.
Citing local police, Xinhua said dozens of civilians of both Uygur and Han ethnicities were killed or injured, while police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.
Over 30 cars were vandalised, some of which were set on fire, the report said.
Earlier this month, the regional capital Urumqi marked the fifth anniversary of the 2009 riot that left 197 people dead and about 17,000 others injured, mostly Han Chinese.
The turbulent region has since seen a series of violent incidents that have left many people dead or injured, including last May’s bombing of a market in Urumqi that left dozens dead and prompted a clampdown by authorities.
In the immediate wake of that bombing, which came just weeks after a blast at an Urumqi rail station left three dead, China launched one-year “anti-terror” campaign in Xinjiang in which hundreds of suspects have been arrested and large amounts of explosives and explosive devices have been seized, according to local media.
On June 17, authorities executed 13 people and sentencing three others to death for their role in terror attacks and related crimes in Xinjiang, including an attack on government facilities and police stations in the oasis city of Turpan on June 26 last year that left 24 police officers and civilians dead.
China’s heavy-handed approach has drawn concerns that many of the region’s Uygurs, including vocal critics and people linked to the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, have been arrested and indefinitely detained without trial, while others have disappeared without trace.
Uygurs in Xinjiang and those in self-exile abroad have long complained that discrimination and restrictions on religion, such as a ban on taking children to mosques, are fuelling anger at the Han Chinese majority.
via Police shoot dead dozens of attackers during mob violence in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post.