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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/31/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Region is home to China's mostly Muslim Uyghur minority

Nearly 100 people are now dead or wounded in a clash in Xinjiang, home to China's mostly Muslim Uyghur minority. Authorities have described the tragedy called a "terror attack" on a police station and township.

The violence was described as a 'terror attack' that killed or wounded 'several tens' of Uyghur and Han, according to Xinjiang's government web portal Tianshan.

The violence was described as a "terror attack" that killed or wounded "several tens" of Uyghur and Han, according to Xinjiang's government web portal Tianshan.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/31/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Xinjiang, China, Muslims, Eid, Uyghur


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to witness reports, dozens of civilians and assailants were killed and injured in an attack by a gang armed with knives and axes.

"Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob," the official news agency Xinhua said. Official reports have not released a breakdown of the casualties from the incident. The attack occurred one day before Muslims in China marked the Eid festival. Information from Xinjiang is often difficult to verify independently.

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The violence was described as a "terror attack" that killed or wounded "several tens" of Uyghur and Han, according to Xinjiang's government web portal Tianshan. The Han are China's largest ethnic group, whose members have migrated in large numbers to Xinjiang in recent decades.

"Nearly 100 people were killed and wounded during the clash," Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, said in an email. The violence came, he added, when "Uyghurs rose up to resist China's extreme ruling policy and were met with armed repression resulting in dead and injured on both sides."

Raxit had earlier reported that more than 20 Uyghurs were killed and 10 wounded, while a total of 13 armed Chinese personnel died or were injured and about 67 people were arrested.

The violence took place in Shache County, or Yarkand in the Uyghur language, near the edge of the Taklamakan desert in the west of the vast region.

The attack was "organized and premeditated," according to Xinhua. Another news bureau, the Global Times, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, cited unnamed sources as saying police had intensified security checks in the Kashgar area, which includes Yarkand, because of a trade fair, and clashed with "thugs" found in possession of explosive materials.

Some reportedly escaped and later "incited" others to attack the local government facilities and police station, the report said. The group also hijacked a coach and held passengers hostage.

Xinhua declared that the assailants were "committing blasphemy against Islam, 'the religion of peace.'"

"Police shooting dead of the mobsters was decisive and well justified," it added.

Beijing commonly blames separatists from Xinjiang for carrying out terror attacks which have grown in scale over the past year and spread outside the restive and resource-rich region.

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