China

Xinjiang violence: 15 reported killed in attack

Chinese paramilitary policemen Xinjiang (May 2014) Image copyright AP
Image caption China is enforcing a security crackdown in Xinjiang and Uighur activists say that in doing so its is fuelling the violence

At least 15 people have been killed and 14 others injured during an attack in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, state media has reported.

It said that the violence started when a group of "terrorists" attacked civilians in Shache county, 200km from the regional capital of Kashgar.

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur minority group.

There has been a wave of violence in the region, with more than 150 people being killed so far this year.

China has blamed the unrest on Uighurs pushing for the region's independence.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the attackers on Friday threw bombs out of a vehicle before they stabbed people on a street lined with food stalls.

Eleven of the dead are reported to be the attackers.

An attack in the same region in July left nearly 100 people dead, including 59 assailants, state media said.

Confirming reports about incidents in Xinjiang is difficult, because access is tightly controlled and information flow restricted.

China is enforcing a security crackdown in Xinjiang, and Uighur activists say that the government's repression of Uighur culture and religious customs is fuelling the violence.

Earlier this week, the authorities announced plans to hire 3,000 former soldiers to patrol residential areas in the region.

Uighurs and Xinjiang

Image copyright AP
  • Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims and make up about 45% of the region's population; 40% are Han Chinese
  • China re-established control in 1949 after crushing the short-lived state of East Turkestan
  • Since then, there has been large-scale immigration of Han Chinese
  • Uighurs say they fear their traditional culture is being eroded

Why is there tension between China and the Uighurs?