BEIJING (AP) — Assailants attacked police officers who were pursuing suspects in China’s restive western region of Xinjiang, and two officers and 14 attackers were killed, state media said Monday.

The region’s official news portal Tianshan Net reported that knife-wielding assailants hurled explosive devices at police officers in Shufu county of Kashgar prefecture.

The officers were in Sayibage township in pursuit of criminal suspects when they came under attack by “several thugs” who threw explosive devices and used knives in the attack, the report said.

Two police officers died in the attack while 14 attackers were shot and killed, Tianshan Net said. Another two suspected assailants were arrested, it reported.

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.