Posts tagged ‘Kashgar’


At least 18 dead in attack in China’s Xinjiang: Radio Free Asia | Reuters

At least 18 people are dead after ethnic Uighurs attacked police with knives and bombs at a traffic checkpoint in China’s western Xinjiang region, Radio Free Asia reported on Wednesday.

The attack occurred on Monday in a district of the southern city of Kashgar, where tensions between Muslim Uighurs that call the region home and the majority Han Chinese have led to bloodshed in recent years.

Suspects killed several police officers with knives and bombs after speeding through a traffic checkpoint in a car in Kashgar’s Tahtakoruk district, U.S.-based Radio Free Asia said, citing Turghun Memet, an officer at a nearby police station.

Armed police responded to the attack and killed 15 suspects “designated as terrorists,” Radio Free Asia cited Memet as saying.

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomo...

An SVG map of China with the Xinjiang autonomous region highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png The orange area is Aksai Chin, a part of Xinjiang which is claimed by India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The attack comes at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a sensitive time in Xinjiang after an uptick in attacks over the past three years in which hundreds have died, blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants.

Repeated calls to the Xinjiang government news office were not answered. Such incidents are frequently reported in overseas media but not confirmed by the Chinese government until days later, if ever.

Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say repressive government policies in Xinjiang, including controls on Islam and on Uighur culture, have provoked unrest, a claim that Beijing denies.

via At least 18 dead in attack in China’s Xinjiang: Radio Free Asia | Reuters.


BBC News – ‘Suspects shot’ in Xinjiang imam killing

Police have shot dead two suspects in the killing of the imam of China’s largest mosque and captured another, state media say.

Jume Tahir speaks during an interview at Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in this still image taken from video dated 3 August 2011

Jume Tahir was the imam in Kashgar, in China’s restive Xinjiang region.

He was found dead after morning prayers at the Id Kah mosque on Wednesday.

Police said the suspects, located shortly afterwards, “resisted arrest with knives and axes”. They were “influenced by religious extremism“, Xinhua news agency said.

Xinjiang, in China’s far west, is home to the Muslim Uighur minority.

Tensions have rumbled for years between Uighurs and Beijing over large-scale Han Chinese migration and tight Chinese control.

In recent months, however, there has been a marked increase in Xinjiang-linked violence, including a market attack in the regional capital Urumqi that left more than 30 people dead.

Beijing blames these attacks on extremists inspired by overseas terror groups. Uighur activists say heavy-handed restrictions on religious and cultural freedoms are fuelling local resentment.

via BBC News – ‘Suspects shot’ in Xinjiang imam killing.


Shenzhen to pump one billion yuan into building new Xinjiang university | South China Morning Post

Shenzhen will pump one billion yuan (HK$1.26 billion) into a new university to be built in Xinjiang’s southern Kashgar city, on top of the region’s own one billion yuan of investment.


Shenzhen was contributing to the university in support of education in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Xinjiang Daily reported on Monday.

“Building Kashi University will provide strong human resources to the industrial restructuring in southern Xinjiang and improve the local livelihood,” said Kenjiang Tulahong, a member of the region’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Plans to build the university were announced by the State Council after a Xinjiang working group meeting in May. It was an important strategic approach, the newspaper said.

Xinjiang, in the northwest and home to the Uygur ethnic minority who are mostly Muslims, has been the focus of a security crackdown after recent violent attacks in the region and elsewhere on the mainland that the central government has blamed on terrorists and separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

President Xi Jinping, who chaired the second Central Work Conference on Xinjiang on May 19, stressed the importance of ethnic unity, education and economic development. Officials at the conference pledged to promote bilingual education and interaction between ethnic groups in the region.

On Monday, Xinjiang party chief Zhang Chunxian, speaking at the region’s party committee meeting, vowed to safeguard social stability and the Central Committee’s authority and political discipline on major issues opposing separatism.

The same day, Korla Evening News reported that police in Korla city, western Xinjiang, had busted an underground group that was teaching the Koran to children. Two men were arrested on suspicion of abusing two children and forcing them to study the Koran, on top of running illegal religious activities. The two pupils were then sent to local kindergartens and assigned guardians, the newspaper reported.

Kashi University, when completed, would give Uygur students more opportunities for higher levels of academic training in future, Kashgar officials said.

“Kashi University will have comprehensive departments and disciplined teachers to train a wider range of talents,” Kashgar Normal College dean Aierken Wumaier said.

The university plans to provide curriculums in the liberal arts, science, art, engineering, management, economics and medicine, among others, he said. The institute aimed to recruit 13,000 students by 2015, he added.

via Shenzhen to pump one billion yuan into building new Xinjiang university | South China Morning Post.


BBC News – China police kill eight in Xinjiang clash

Police in China\’s restive Xinjiang region have shot dead eight people during a violent clash on Monday, a state news portal says.


The clash broke out when men armed with knives and explosives attacked a police station in Yarkand county, officials say. One person has also been arrested.

The violence comes two weeks after a riot in the region, which saw 16 people killed, including two police.

Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority group, sees sporadic clashes.

The government traditionally blames extremists for the violence. Uighur activists, on the other hand, point to ethnic tensions and tight Chinese control as triggers for violence.


Verifying reports from the region is difficult because the information flow out of Xinjiang is tightly controlled.

News of the latest clash first emerged on the state-run regional Tianshan news portal.

Officials described the people who attacked the police station in Yarkand, near the old silk road city of Kashgar, as \”thugs carrying knives and throwing explosives\”.

It was not immediately clear if there were any police casualties. The incident is currently under investigation, officials say.

More than 100 people have been killed in Xinjiang this year in this and similar incidents, which Beijing blames on separatist \”terrorists\” from the Uighur group, says the BBC\’s John Sudworth in Shanghai.

via BBC News – China police kill eight in Xinjiang clash.


Settlers in Xinjiang: Circling the wagons

The Economist: “In a region plagued by ethnic strife, the growth of immigrant-dominated settlements is adding to the tension

MANY hours’ drive along what was once the southern Silk Road, through a featureless desert landscape punctuated by swirling dust-devils and occasional gnarled trees, a curious sight eventually confronts the traveller: row upon row of apartment blocks with vivid red roofs, as if a piece of Shanghai suburbia has been planted in the wilderness (see picture). Following the military-style nomenclature of immigrant settlements in China’s far west, it calls itself 38th Regiment. It is home to thousands of people, in a spot where just a few years ago there was nothing but sand.

The town is the latest addition to a vast network of such communities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s biggest province by land area and also its most ethnically troubled. Neighbouring Tibet has long been roiled by ethnic tension, too, but rarely has it witnessed the kind of violence that has troubled Xinjiang: a low-level insurgency involving ethnic Uighurs whose Muslim faith and Central Asian culture and language set them apart from the Han Chinese who dominate places like 38th Regiment. On April 23rd, 21 people were killed near Kashgar during an encounter between police and alleged separatists. An explosion of inter-ethnic violence in 2009 in the regional capital, Urumqi, that left nearly 200 dead, by official reckoning, exacerbated the divide. The expansion of the settlement network is deepening it further.

To use its full name, the 38th Regiment of the 2nd Agricultural Division is part of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. This state-run organisation, usually referred to as the bingtuan (Chinese for a military corps) controls an area twice the size of Taiwan, broken into numerous parts scattered around the province (see map). A few bits are city-sized. Most are more like towns or villages. Of their total population of more than 2.6m people, 86% are ethnically Han Chinese. In Xinjiang as a whole, in contrast, Han officially make up just over 40% of the 22m inhabitants. The rest are Uighurs and a few other ethnic groups.”

via Settlers in Xinjiang: Circling the wagons | The Economist.


* At least 20 people were killed in China’s Xinjiang

The Hindu: “At least 20 people were killed in China’s Xinjiang region on Tuesday in violence that the government blamed on separatists. The incident underscored the ethnic tension in the far-western Muslim-majority region that has erupted intermittently in recent months.

The government said attackers armed with knives killed at least 13 people and injured many on a busy pedestrian street in the county of Kargilik, or Yecheng in Chinese, which is located around 250 km from Kashgar. The ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, situated near China’s border with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), was the scene of similar violence last July, when attackers armed with knives assaulted pedestrians and set off bombs, killing at least 20 people. The local government said the police had shot dead “seven violent terrorists” and captured two.

The government blamed last year’s violence on extremist groups who they said had been trained in camps in Pakistan. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said it was “not yet known” who was behind Tuesday’s violence.”

Xinjiang, with a Muslim  majority who speak a Turkic language, is one of the two ethnic trouble-spots in China.  The other, of course, is Tibet. Unlike Tibet, there is no historic dispute of sovereignty – unless you’re going back to early history pre-dating even the Muslim conversion/incursion of the ‘native’ population. Strife here is mainly due to the feeling of becoming ‘dispossessed and displaced’ with increasing influx of Han Chinese who come to seek their fortunes in a mineral rich region that also boasts warm summers suitable for sub-tropical fruit, including grapes!

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