China violence: '20 dead' in Kashgar city in Xinjiang

Armed police officers at a square in Kashgar, Xinjiang province (August 2011)
Image caption Xinjiang province has had high levels of security since riots in 2009 (file photo)

At least 20 people died in violence in China's ethnically divided western region of Xinjiang on Tuesday, the authorities say.

The regional government said a group of what it called terrorists, armed with knives, attacked people on a busy shopping street near the city of Kashgar, killing 13 people.

It said seven of the attackers were shot dead by police.

Earlier, state media described the incident as a riot.

Security has been high in Xinjiang since riots in 2009 between local Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese migrants.

Nearly 200 people were killed in that unrest - most of them Han, according to officials.