Three killed in renewed violence in China

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The Independent Online

Three security officers were stabbed to death and another wounded in renewed violence in north-west China's Xinjiang region today, the fourth day of the Beijing Olympic Games, state media said.

China has blamed two earlier attacks in the restive area more than (1,860 miles from the capital on Muslim separatists seeking to disrupt the Games.

One or more assailants jumped off a vehicle passing a road checkpoint about 18 miles from Kashgar and stabbed the officers, Xinhua news agency said.

"These were just some terrorists," said a local police officer in Yamanya, in Shule county, where the attack occurred.

A bombing and stabbing attack killed 16 police within the city of Kashgar just over a week ago. On Sunday, 11 people were killed in a series of supermarket bombings in Kuqa, in the south of Xinjiang.

A perimetre of road checkpoints with armed security had been set up in the immediate vicinity of Kashgar following the first attack.

China says militants seeking an independent "East Turkestan" homeland for Muslim Uighurs in the region are among the top threats to the Olympics, which began on Friday.

But the government has tended to downplay the attacks in the Chinese press. Tuesday's attack was initially reported by Xinhua only in English.

Xinjiang is home to the majority Muslim Uighur people, who chafe under Chinese rule. Uighurs make up just under half of Xinjiang's 20 million people.