Police kill 8 in attack in western China

The Japan News, 16 February 2014

BEIJING (AP)—Chinese security forces on Friday fatally shot eight people who attacked police with machetes and drove cars that carried gas cylinders they detonated as bombs in the restive western Xinjiang region, state media said.

Three other assailants died as they exploded the bombs in the attack in the county of Wushi in Aksu prefecture, injuring four people, according to the Tianshan news portal, which is run by the regional branch of the Communist Party.

The reports did not identify the ethnicity of the assailants, but it was the latest in a series of attacks pointing to growing unrest in the sprawling region. Xinjiang is home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule among parts of the native Turkic Uighur population who want more autonomy from Beijing. Recent clashes, including an attack on police last month, have left dozens of people dead.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the assailants rode motorbikes and drove cars that carried liquefied natural gas cylinders they intended to use as suicide bombs.

They attacked a team of police who had gathered at the gate of a park for a routine patrol in Wushi, Xinhua said, calling the assailants “terrorists.”

The Chinese government typically calls such incidents terrorist attacks linked to radicals based overseas, although Beijing has provided little concrete evidence to back its claim. Activists say despair over economic and social discrimination and cultural and religious restrictions are fueling anger among Uighurs.

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