BEIJING (AP) — A total of 11 people were killed in an assault on a police station in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the local government said Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks pointing to growing unrest in the area.
Two auxiliary police officers and nine attackers were killed in the incident Saturday afternoon, the Xinjiang regional government said in a statement posted on its microblog.
It said the assailants used knives and axes in the attack in Bachu county’s Serikbuya township, near the historic city of Kashgar, adding that two police officers were injured in the clash. Calls to government and police offices in the region rang unanswered on Sunday.
Xinjiang has long been home to a simmering insurgency against Chinese rule led by radicals among the region’s native Turkic Muslim Uighur ethnic group. This year has been particularly bloody, with a number of deadly clashes in Xinjiang and one in the heart of Beijing in which three attackers drove through a vehicle crowds in front of historic Tiananmen Gate, killing themselves and two tourists.
The authorities blame the violence on Uighur terrorists allied with al-Qaida. Activists say despair over economic and social discrimination and cultural and religious restrictions are fueling anger among Uighurs.