Dec 16, 2013

East Turkestan: Sixteen People Die in Clashes Near Kashgar

16 people have died in a clash with the Chinese police in a village near Kashgar. Details about the circumstances of this case have not been made available yet.

Below is an article published by CNN:

Sixteen people have been killed in violence in China's volatile western region of Xinjiang, state media reported Monday.

Two police officers chasing suspects came under attack late Sunday from people with machetes and explosive devices in Shufu county, near the city of Kashgar, said Tianshan, a news website run by the Xinjiang government. 

In the clash that ensued, two police officers died and 14 "gang members" were shot and killed, Tianshan reported. It described what happened as a "terrorist attack."

Police detained two suspects, the report said, and the violence is under further investigation. 

Deadly unrest frequently breaks out in Xinjiang, a large, resource-rich region that is home to the Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group. 

The arrival of waves of Han Chinese people over the decades has fueled tensions with the Uyghurs. Chinese authorities have cracked down heavily on violence involving Uyghurs, deepening resentment.

The Tianshan report Monday didn't specify the ethnicity of the people involved in the clash with police. 

The details of violent clashes in Xinjiang often remain murky. Uyghur diaspora groups, like the World Uyghur Congress, have criticized the Chinese government for the lack of transparency over such events. 

Luo Fuyong, a spokesman for the Xinjiang government, declined to provide any further details to CNN about Sunday's violence. He said Monday that he would provide updates in due course and suggested monitoring Tianshan in the meantime.

Chinese authorities have blamed Uyghurs for a vehicle attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October that killed five people -- including the three in the vehicle -- and wounded 40 others. 

Xinjiang's worst violence in decades took place in July 2009, when rioting in the capital, Urumqi, between Uyghurs and Han Chinese killed some 200 people and injured 1,700. That unrest was followed by a crackdown by security forces. 

Xinjiang is now home to more than 8 million Han Chinese, up from 220,000 in 1949, and 10 million Uyghurs. The newcomers take most of the new jobs, and unemployment among Uyghurs is high.

They complain of discrimination and harsh treatment by security forces, despite official promises of equal rights and ethnic harmony. 

Beijing accuses some Uyghur groups of trying to establish an independent state.