Death toll at 35 after ethnic clashes in western China
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman: 'This is a terrorist attack, there's no question about that'
Friday 28 June 2013
The death toll from clashes in western China has risen to 35, reports say.
The violence included knife attacks on police in the Xinjiang region which has seen frequent clashes between China's Muslim minority Uighurs and the ethnic Han majority.
Initial reports said 27 people were killed in a remote town, with state-run media saying that knife-wielding attackers targeted police stations, a government building and a construction site - all symbols of Han authority.
The new toll included some of the severely injured dying in the hospital. It also included 11 attackers shot dead in Lukqun township, the Xinhua News agency said. Two police officers were among the 24 people they killed.
“This is a terrorist attack, there's no question about that,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “As to who masterminded it, local people are still investigating.”
State news reports did not identify the ethnicity of the attackers, nor explain what may have caused the conflict in the Turkic-speaking region, where Uighurs have complained of suppression and discrimination by Han people. The report also said police captured four injured attackers.
The violence was one of the bloodiest incidents since unrest in the region's capital city of Urumqi killed nearly 200 in 2009.
Photos released in state media show scorched police cars and government buildings and victims lying on the ground - presumably dead.
It was impossible to independently confirm the state-run media accounts. The Global Times said police set up many checkpoints along the 30km (19-mile) road to Lukqun and dissuaded reporters from travelling there due to safety concerns. It said heavy security has been necessary because some suspects remained on the run.
Xinjiang is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs in a region that borders Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been the scene of numerous violent acts in recent years, including the riots in the capital four years ago.
Critics have attributed the violence, including Wednesday's deadly clashes, to Beijing's oppressive and discriminatory ethnicity policies. Many Uighurs complain that Beijing imposes tight restrictions on their religious and cultural life, barring children and women from attending mosques and discouraging fasting during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which starts this year in early July.
The Chinese government says all ethnic groups are treated equally and that the violence is terrorism with no connection to religion or ethnicity. It points to billions of dollars it has invested in modernising Xinjiang, a strategically vital region with significant oil and gas deposits.
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
#JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
UK election candidates: 'Nasty party' Ukip faces fresh questions on eve of vote
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party's the right choice for you
Ohio 'Shawshank Redemption' fugitive Frank Freshwater arrested after 56 years on the run
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...