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Clashes between police and Chinese Uighurs kill 16

A clash between police officers and suspects they were pursuing in China's restive Xinjiang region left 16 people dead, state media said Monday.

BEIJING // A clash between police officers and suspects they were pursuing in China’s restive Xinjiang region left 16 people dead, state media said Monday.

The region’s official news portal Tianshan Net said “several thugs” threw explosives and wielded knives at the officers around 11 p.m. Sunday in Sayibage township.

Two of the officers in Kashgar prefecture were killed along with 14 assailants, the report said. Two other suspected assailants were arrested, it said. No further details were provided.

Calls to local authorities rang unanswered or were answered by officials who said they did not know about the attack.

Xinjiang has long been home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule among parts of the Muslim Uighur population. Recent clashes, including an attack on a police station, have left dozens of people dead this year.

The government typically calls the incidents terrorist attacks linked to radicals based overseas, although there is little evidence that they are carefully organized. In many cases, the violence appears linked to anger over poverty and strict rules on Uighur culture and Muslim worship, along with the influence of global jihadi teachings.

Among the more audacious attacks was one that struck in the heart of China’s capital in October. Authorities have said three Uighurs drove a sport utility vehicle through crowds toward Tiananmen Gate where it burst into flames, killing three occupants and two tourists and injuring dozens.

Police said the suicide car crash was a terrorist attack and arrested five people in connection with it.

* Associated Press

Published: December 16, 2013 04:00 AM

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