BEIJING - Police shot one man dead and apprehended another in China's restive Xinjiang region Thursday, a government news portal reported, the latest violence in the area home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.
According to the Tianshan web portal, which is run by the Xinjiang regional government, police in Aksu prefecture were "examining a suspicious vehicle when the suspects suddenly attacked them with knives and hurled burning devices at their patrol car".
The officers shot one man dead and arrested the other, the report said, adding that one policeman was "seriously wounded" in the encounter.
The episode comes on the heels of several other violent incidents in Aksu, which lies in Xinjiang's far west near the border with Kyrgyzstan.
In April, an Aksu teenager was killed after speeding past police checkpoints and clashing with officers.
The prefecture was also the scene of triple explosions in January that killed at least three people, with police shooting dead six people soon afterwards.
In a statement Thursday, the overseas-based World Uyghur Congress disputed the government's official account and said that two Uighurs were killed and one injured in the confrontation, which began when a policeman "insulted" one of the Uighurs during a security check.
The group added that police arrested a total of 12 Uighurs, including five young people who were recording the confrontation on their mobile phones.
Dilshat Rexit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, accused Chinese authorities of "opening fire and killing anyone who is dissatisfied with Chinese policy" in the region.
Beijing argues that China faces a violent separatist movement in the area motivated by religious extremism and linked to foreign terrorist groups, while campaigners accuse Beijing of cultural oppression.