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China Kills 'Several Terrorists' in Xinjiang

  • VOA News

Chinese police have shot dead what state media say are "several terrorists" in the western Xinjiang region where Beijing says it is fighting an Islamic separatist movement.

The official Xinhua news agency said Friday the "terrorists, riding motorbikes and cars, attacked a team of police" in front of a park in Wushi County in the Aksu Prefecture.

The brief report said the "terrorists had unknown number of LNG cylinders in their car which they had attempted to use as suicide bombs."

Clashes occasionally break out between state security forces and ethnic Uighur Muslims who complain of religious and cultural persecution by the Beijing government.

The government blames most of the attacks on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. China says the group is fighting for independence and is backed by foreign extremists.

Many international human rights groups say China is exaggerating the threat in order to justify its repression of Muslim religious life.

When such clashes occur, exiled Uighur activists almost invariably blame China's heavy-handed police tactics for the violence.