At least 11 people were killed included nine who were shot dead by the police during an attack on a police station in a remote area in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China’s far west on Saturday.
The latest round of violence in the increasingly restive region comes within three weeks of Beijing blaming members of the Muslim Uyghur community from Xinjiang of carrying out a “terrorist attack” at Tiananmen Square that left five people dead and over 40 injured.
Saturday’s incident occurred in the far-flung Kashgar prefecture deep in southern Xinjiang in a township called Selibuya, state media reported Sunday.
A government statement gave sparse details, only saying nine people armed with knives and axes attacked the Selibuya police station yesterday.
Two assistant police officers were killed in the attack. The police retaliated by shooting and killed all nine attackers
The government identified only one of the attackers as Abula Ahat.
It was the second attack this year on Selibuya's police station.
State media reported that in April, a “terror attack by a 25-member gang in the town left 21 dead, including six attackers and six police officers.”
The clash was described by the region's information office as a “severe, violent terror incident”.
The police investigation into the April incident revealed that the gang had “watched and listened to materials related to religious extremism and terrorism. The members also took part in physical training and learned how to kill by watching footage of terrorist attacks.”
According to the official version of the incident, on April 23, gang members were making bombs at a house in Selibuya when community workers arrived on a routine visit in the afternoon.
“Once they realised the community workers had discovered the explosives and were attempting to detain the men inside, the gang members ran into the house and attacked the officials.
Three of the nine community workers were women. The three women were killed,” the report said.
Nine other people including the head of Selibuya police station, who had shot and killed one suspect and wounded another, were forced into a room and burned to death after the terrorists doused the room in petrol before setting it alight.
The group then ambushed a backup police team and township officials. One official was killed on the spot, and two police officers later died of their injuries.