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Unrest leaves 27 dead in China's troubled Xinjiang - Xinhua - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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 A merchant of the Uighur ethnic group sits outside his shop selling Muslim headwear in the old town of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, 24 May 2013. Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority group in China, make up about 40 per cent of the 21.8 million people in Xinjiang, a vast, ethnically divided region that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. Tensions have been high between the Uighurs and the dominant Han Chinese as Uighurs complain of cultural and religious repression and claim that Han Chinese migrants enjoy the main benefits of develop. (EPA Photo)

A merchant of the Uighur ethnic group sits outside his shop selling Muslim headwear in the old town of Kashgar, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, 24 May 2013. Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority group in China, make up about 40 per cent of the 21.8 million people in Xinjiang, a vast, ethnically divided region that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. Tensions have been high between the Uighurs and the dominant Han Chinese as Uighurs complain of cultural and religious repression and claim that Han Chinese migrants enjoy the main benefits of develop. (EPA Photo)

Beijing, Reuters— Gangs armed with knives attacked a police station and a local government building on Wednesday in China’s restive far western Xinjiang region, leaving 27 dead in clashes with police, the government news agency Xinhua said.

The unrest in the region, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, was the deadliest since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in riots pitting Uighurs against ethnic Chinese in the region’s capital Urumqi.

Xinhua said Wednesday’s unrest erupted at about 6 a.m. in the remote township of Lukqun, about 200 km (120 miles) southeast of Urumqi.

Gangs attacked Lukqun’s police stations, the local government building and a construction site, stabbing people and setting fire to police vehicles, Xinhua quoted regional Communist Party officials as saying.

Nine policemen and security guards and eight civilians were killed before police shot dead 10 of the attackers, Xinhua quoted the officials as saying.

The reasons for the attacks were not immediately clear.

Mmany Uighurs, Muslims who speak a Turkic language, chafe at what they call Chinese government restrictions on their culture, language and religion.

China says it grants Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms and accuses extremists of separatism.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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