Armed attack on Kashgar police station said to leave nine assailants, two police dead

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 5:39am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 8:56am

Eleven people were killed yesterday when a group of nine attacked a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, according to official media.

All nine assailants, armed with axes and knives, were shot dead, and two auxiliary police officers were killed, according to Xinjiang news portal Two police officers were injured. The website quoted local police as saying the assailants were killed at the scene and that social order had returned to normal.

The attack took place at 5.30pm in Selibuya township, in Bachu county, called Maralbexi county in the Uygur language.

The leader of the attackers appears to have been a Uygur, based on the name that the report carried. The report gave no details about the identity of the other attackers or the group's motive.

It was the first violent attack in Xinjiang since the closure of the third plenum of the Communist Party's Central Committee last week and the announcement of the establishment of a national security committee.

A large-scale violent incident broke out in the same township, Selibuya, in April. Then, 21 people were killed in clashes involving axes, knives and the burning down of a house. Nine officials, six police officers and six ethnic Uygurs were left dead.

Officers were sent to search a house after police found "suspicious men with knives and axes". A stand-off ensued.

The authorities branded the April violence a "terrorist" attack, saying the assailants were "jihadists" plotting violence in the region, but said there was no evidence suggesting they were linked to overseas terrorist groups such as the East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

On October 28, a vehicle mowed down tourists near Tiananmen Square and burst into flames.

Beijing blamed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for the incident. Five suspects, all Uygurs, have been detained. Five people, including the vehicle's three occupants, were killed in the incident and some 40 were injured.

President Xi Jinping said on Friday the party's third plenum had resolved to set up a national security committee because of increased threats both inside and outside the nation.