Eight police station 'attackers' shot dead in China's Xinjiang: govt

Eight police station 'attackers' shot dead in China's Xinjiang: govt
An anti-terrorism force attends an anti-terrorism joint exercise in Hami, northwest China's Xinjiang region.

BEIJING - Eight "attackers" armed with knives and explosives were killed Monday during a "terrorist attack" on a police station in China's Xinjiang according to authorities, the latest deadly incident in the largely Muslim region.

 

One of the attackers was held in the clash in Shache county, said the official website of the government of Xinjiang, where mainly Muslim Uighurs are the largest ethnic group.

The website, which called it a "terrorist attack" said: "Police took decisive action, shooting eight people and arresting one." Officials were investigating, it added.

The area, around 200 kilometres (124 miles) south-east of Kashgar, is known as Yarkand in the Uighur language.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang called it a "violent terrorist attack".

"It testifies once again to the anti-society and anti-human nature of the three evil forces, and they have caused great damage to the state, the society and the people," he said at a regular briefing.

Beijing refers to what it calls ethnic separatism, religious extremism and terrorism as the "three evil forces".

Authorities have blamed "terrorists" for a series of similar attacks this year in Xinjiang, a sprawling and resource-rich region four times the size of Japan and rich in oil and natural gas.

Rights groups and outside scholars, however, say unrest is spawned by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and a wave of immigration by China's Han majority.

"Directly shooting to death protesters accused of so-called terror is... the latest means to suppress Uighurs," said Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for exile group the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

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