News / Asia

Gun Battle in China's Xinjiang Kills 21 People

Xinjiang province, Kashgar prefecture, ChinaXinjiang province, Kashgar prefecture, China
x
Xinjiang province, Kashgar prefecture, China
Xinjiang province, Kashgar prefecture, China
VOA News
Chinese officials say 21 people were killed after a fight broke out during a police investigation of suspected criminals in the latest act of violence in the restive northwest province of Xinjiang.

The clashes began Tuesday, when social workers came across what state media referred to as "suspicious individuals and knives" in a house in western Kashgar prefecture.

An official at the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region news office confirmed the incident in an interview with VOA.

"While [the social workers] were in the process of reporting this to their superiors they were apprehended by bandits who were hiding in the home. Afterwards policemen and community cadres at the local police station went to handle the matter, and the bandits killed the police and community workers who were inside the home," said the official.

The Xinjiang official, who did not wish to be named, said the suspects set fire to the house during the clashes. Fifteen social workers and police were killed, while six "gang members" were shot dead. Another eight were captured.

The official said the incident was "definitely a premeditated, violent act of terror." State media said the group was plotting to use the weapons to "launch terror activities." Such accusations are common against ethnic Uighurs involved in violence.

Xinjiang is an ethnically divided region that sees occasional clashes, mainly between the predominantly Muslim Uighur community, the Han Chinese settler majority, and government security forces.

Ethnic tensions in Xinjiang have been simmering since a series of riots in 2009 killed over 200 people in the regional capital of Urumqi. Subsequent clashes also broke out, prompting what activists say is a heavy crackdown on the Uighur community.

The government says the increased security is needed to deal with what it says are Muslim extremists and militant separatists who are inciting violence. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying echoed that claim during a regular briefing on Wednesday.

"The current situation in Xinjiang is good in general, but a small cluster of terrorist forces are still doing their very best to disturb and sabotage Xinjiang's stability and development. I believe their scheme goes against the will of the people and is doomed to fail," said Hua.

In addition to the heavy police presence, China has increased aid to Xinjiang in an attempt to combat poverty, which it considers to be a root cause of the violence.

But many of the Turkic-speaking Uighurs say they are still economically and culturally disadvantaged, and face widespread discrimination resulting from a massive influx of ethnic Han Chinese into the region.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NY
April 26, 2013 10:46 AM
I treat with suspect any reports from Xinhua, China Daily & the PRC Govt. They frequently lie on issues like Xinjiang & Tibet. The CCP controls all media & information in China, Xinjiang & Tibet and uses censorship to prevent anyone learning the truth of what's going on in these areas. Xinhua is the largest propaganda agency in the world. Amnesty & HRW have documented numerous human rights violations by the PRC Govt in Xinjiang.
In Response

by: nnon from: Happy valley
April 29, 2013 6:44 PM
I especially do when China Daily & Xinhua frequently calls the Uyghur people warm and friendly, but when many innocent people were attacked in 2009, I had my doubts.
In Response

by: sdjn from: China
April 26, 2013 11:18 PM
the ethnic groups in China are actually enjoy far more rights than the Han people.

by: ChasL from: Seattle
April 25, 2013 12:49 PM
As a tax payer who's money is unwittingly funding propaganda like this, first allow me to apologize to people in China or elsewhere that are offended by VOA.

Does anything justify the violence? Let's be clear 15 of the 21 dead were unarmed police deputy (police in China are like bobby in England, no gun) and social worker that were ATTACKED.

The Chinese media showed nothing but sympathy towards us when Boston was bombed. But when their Boston happened we try to use it to propagandize against the Chinese government as somehow illegitmate.

Shame on you VOA.
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
April 26, 2013 10:47 AM
"ChasL" sounds like a member of the 50 Cent Party. They are paid by the CCP to present pro-CCP messages and attack anyone who darest to criticize the almighty Chinese Communist Party.

by: VOChina from: XJ
April 25, 2013 2:00 AM
What a terribly misleading and inaccurate article. Most of the Chinese police and social workers killed by the extremists were Uyghurs. Groups (including Uyghurs) not designated as Han have reserved government jobs, reduced taxes, permitted to have more than one child, etc. There are efforts to improve upon traditional lifestyles and reduce poverty of all. Uyghurs in China are better off than the natives in reserves/America.

The Voice Of America should speak of the abhorent conditions of the decimated natives who have little voice in America.
In Response

by: ChasL from: Seattle
April 25, 2013 12:50 PM
Correct, according to reports 15 of the deputy police and social workers ambushed are - 10 Uyghurs, 3 Hans, 2 Mongols.

by: Jonny from: Soochow
April 24, 2013 9:49 PM
" face widespread discrimination resulting from a massive influx of ethnic Han Chinese into the region"

you really come to China to see the situation istead of sitting in the office,drinking the coffee and say $#^&$#%%^&*@!%^&%^@#%$&$%$%^#$%^#%&#$!

by: sxf from: beijing
April 24, 2013 9:44 PM
Taiwan is a province of china.please show it on the map.
In Response

by: sdjn from: China
April 26, 2013 11:13 PM
Taiwan is part of China, and separated from China in the 1940's due to the civil way. It's like two brothers separated. Can you say they do not belong to the same family?
In Response

by: Wanchuk from: NYC
April 26, 2013 10:53 AM
Actually Taiwan is a de facto independent country. If Taiwan is a province of China why do does Taiwan have its own military, separate currencey & separate govt that does not recognize the CCP?
In Response

by: Anonymous
April 25, 2013 1:58 AM
a province that Beijing cannot get tax and can not send its troops to. a province that a Chinese people need a visa to enter.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs