China calls Xinjiang attack 'terrorism'
A deadly attack on a police station on Monday in an old Silk Road desert town in China's Xinjiang, was an 'organised terrorist attack,' said a top official from the remote northwest province. Reshma Patil reports.world Updated: Jul 20, 2011 00:32 IST
A deadly attack on a police station on Monday in an old Silk Road desert town in China's Xinjiang, was an 'organised terrorist attack,' said a top official from the remote northwest province.
On Monday, authorities said that police 'gunned down' a 'number of rioters' who set ablaze a police station and took hostages near a jade bazaar in Hotan city.
At least four others including a policeman, guard and two hostages died.
An official from Xinjiang later described the clash as a terror attack by a group lobbying grenades and holding a flag with separatist slogans.
China blames violence in the region on sporadic strikes by extremists with al Qaeda links who are demanding a separate East Turkestan state.
Exiled activists of the World Uighur Congress refuted the official version and claimed that police killed 20 Uighurs who had gathered to protest against recent arrests.
It said 70 more were detained after the clash.
"They broke into the offices of the local administration of industry, commerce and taxation that are near the police station. They injured two persons there,'' Hou Hanmin, chief of the regional information office, told the Global Times.
"When they realised the targets were wrong, they started to attack the police station from the ground floor to the second floor where they showed a flag with separatist messages."