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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid