Police in Xinjiang, the ethnically divided region in far western China, fatally shot eight Uighur Muslim terrorists and captured one after what the state-run news media described as an attack by assailants armed with bombs made from gas cylinders. Three other attackers died while carrying out their crime by blowing themselves up.
Reuters The official accounts did not identify the bombers, but it was clear that they were Uighurs, an Islamic people who have grown increasingly resentful of the growing numbers of ethnic Han Chinese in the region and of state controls on their culture and Muslim religion.
The violence erupted in Wushi County, in Aksu Prefecture, when people riding motorbikes and a person driving a car loaded with natural-gas cylinders bore down on police officers preparing to go on patrol, said Xinhua, the state-run news agency. The attackers also used knives, said Tianshan Net, an official Xinjiang news portal.
Xinjiang has long been troubled by ethnic divisions. Even before the latest deaths, nearly three dozen Uighur Muslims have been fatally shot by the police in southern Xinjiang since late last year. The latest confrontation followed a deadly clash in another part of Aksu Prefecture, in southwest Xinjiang, in which six men who attacked a police station were killed by security forces on Jan. 24, Xinhua said.