News / Asia

More Arrests After Deadly Xinjiang Clash

Armed police officers patrol an ethnic Uighur area in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 4, 2011.Armed police officers patrol an ethnic Uighur area in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 4, 2011.
Armed police officers patrol an ethnic Uighur area in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 4, 2011.
Armed police officers patrol an ethnic Uighur area in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, August 4, 2011.
A top Chinese security official says more suspects have been arrested in connection with a violent clash in China’s western region of Xinjiang that left 21 dead. The names of those who died in the incident last week were released Monday and a memorial service was held, but little is known about the alleged attackers.
Eight suspects were taken into custody last week, and now Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei tells state broadcaster CCTV that more are being questioned.
However, just how many people are being held by authorities is unclear.
"The investigation into the case has made significant progress and that most of the details are already clear," said Meng, explaining that a group of terrorists have been arrested and that self-made explosives, weapons and banners of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement have been seized. China has said the clash was part of a major terrorist attack.

Beijing's policies in Xinjiang are a source of discontent to the indigenous Uighur residents, and some people support an effort to establish an independent state of East Turkestan in Xinjiang. Uighurs are a Muslim group of Turkish origin that live mostly in the Xinjiang region.
Last week’s violent clash was the worst in recent years, but unlike other incidents, most of the individuals who died were members of the ethnic Uighur minority — both the alleged attackers and authorities who were on the scene.
State media say the incident occurred during a house visit. Overseas Uighur groups, however, say police sparked the incident during an illegal search of homes.
Ilham Tohti, a Uighur scholar from the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing, says that while he does not condone any kind of violence, the official version of the story raises many questions. It is unclear why officials went to the home, said Ilham, who asks how members of one family were all terrorists and all happened to be in their home.
“According to the official media, [authorities] went into the family's home for a visit. If these people had not done anything, then why did officials enter their homes? That is one question," he said. "Secondly, the official media said that these people were members of a family. Is it possible that terrorists would be all members of one family in their own home? Isn't there also a possibility that officials were carrying out a house visit and then some conflict occurred?”
Barry Sautman of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, an expert on China’s ethnic policies, says that while there is no way of knowing what happened at this point, there could have been some third alternative.
“There are lots of incidents around the world in which there are people who have what are often labeled as extremist ideas, who are set off to take violent actions not by some overriding world view, but rather by some form of localized conflict, some clash with the local authorities at one or another level," he said. "So it's quite possible that there was some action taken by the local authorities that was seen by people in that family as being provocative to them in some way, and that the violence resulted from that.”
In addition to the six alleged attackers, four female Uighur community workers and several other male Uighur police and community workers died during the incident.
Two local Chinese Communist Party officials, including a local party propaganda chief, and Liu Xuliang, a branch party secretary, were also among those killed. Liu’s elder sister, Liu Cailing, told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television that her brother and others who went to the home helped stop a major violent incident that was going to occur the next day, April 24.
State television showed footage of the home in Xinjiang where the clash occurred. There was little left of the structure except for walls and the collapsed remains of the residence.

You May Like

Photogallery Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs