press trust of india
BEIJING, 26 JUNE: At least 27 people, including nine security personnel, were killed today as knife-wielding rioters attacked police stations and government building in China’s restive Xinjiang province in one of the worst incidents of violence since 2009.
Riots which took place in remote Lukqun township of Shanshan County in Turpan Prefecture left 27 people dead, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Knife-wielding mobs attacked the township’s police stations, the local government building and a construction site, stabbing people and setting police cars on fire, officials with Xinjiang’s regional committee of the Communist Party of China said.
Seventeen people had been killed ~ including nine policemen or security guards and eight civilians ~ before police opened fire and shot dead 10 rioters, the officials said. Three rioters were detained and police were chasing those who had fled, the officials said without clarifying how many were at large. Three people were injured by the mobs and were being treated at a local hospital.
The Xinhua report did not identify the people but the province has been witnessing periodic violence as Uygurs have been protesting the migration of Hans into the province.
Xinjaing, which borders Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is experiencing a major conflict between nine million Uygurs and Han Chinese settlers, whose numbers have now grown over 40 per cent of the population of the province.
China has deployed large number of security forces to deal with separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which according to Chinese security forces is connected with Al Qaida.
The unrest in the region was the deadliest since July 2009 when nearly 200 people were killed in riots in the region’s capital Urumqi.