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Eleven die as axe and knife wielding mob attack Chinese police station

Two auxiliary police officers were killed and a further two injured before the attackers were shot dead in the clash

Eleven people were killed and two injured when a mob armed with knives and axes attacked a police station in China's troubled far-west region, Xinjiang, on Saturday.

Two auxiliary police officers were killed in the clash before nine attackers - reportedly Uighurs - were shot dead on the spot, the regional government said in a statement posted on its microblog.

The incident, which happened in Bachu county's Serikbuya township, near the historic city of Kashgar, also left two police officers injured.

Many Turkic Muslim Uighurs, Xinjiang’s native ethnic group, call the region East Turkestan and seek an independent state.

The China Daily newspaper said the police station was the same one that had been attacked in April in a clash that erupted after local police and community workers discovered suspicious behavior at a nearby home.

That led to a gang of alleged Uighur extremists hacking and burning to death 15 members of the security services, while six of the group were shot dead.

China's domestic security chief blamed a Muslim Uighur separatist group for a deadly crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square at the beginning of November. A man carrying his wife and mother drove a vehicle through crowds killing the three and two tourists.

The authorities say the attacks are carried out by Uighur terrorists allied with al-Qaida. Activists say despair over economic and social discrimination, as well as cultural and religious restrictions, are fueling anger among Uighurs.

Xinjiang is a sprawling  desert-like region bordering Afghanistan, Pakistan and a number of Central Asian states that were once part of the former Soviet Union. It is home to around 9 million Uighurs.