14 killed in violent attacks in China`s Xinjiang province
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 31, 2011, 19:42
  
Beijing: At least 14 people including a Chinese police officer were killed in a spate of violent incidents in China's volatile Xinjiang province.

While seven people were killed in an attack by two 'rioters', who hijacked a bus and rammed into a crowd of people last night in Kashghar, located close to the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), seven more were killed today.

Four suspects were shot and four others were caught by police today.

While three people, including a police officer, were also killed today, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

It quoted witnesses as saying that the victims were hacked to death by the 'rioters'.

Police are hunting for four others following an eruption of violence, in which more than 10 pedestrians and police officers had been injured, the report said, providing very sketchy details.

The incident took place after at least seven people were killed by rioters last night in the same city.

Last night two 'suspects' reported to be Uyghurs hijacked a truck after stabbing the driver to death and rammed it into pedestrians.

The pair later jumped out of the truck and hacked bystanders, the report said.

At least six people were killed on the spot and 28 others were injured in the incident.

"One of the rioters died when fighting with local people, and the other was nabbed", it said.

Before the incident two blasts were heard, the first occurred at about 10:30 pm from a minivan, while the other was heard almost at the same time from a food street, where the 'thugs' hijacked the truck.

In the aftermath of the incident today, streets were nearly deserted, and some residents remain shaken by what transpired.

"I can't believe this happened," said tearful Yang Hongmei, "one of my colleagues died," she sobbed.

According to Yang, many residents were gathered on the square outside her office when the suspects rushed into the throng and began attacking bystanders.

"Our security guards tried to save the residents while our manager attempted to subdue an attacker by holding him, but the man had a knife and stabbed him in his abdomen," she told state-run Xinhua news agency.

The seriously injured manager was taken to the hospital but died.

"There were cries and blood everywhere," Yang added. "Terrified people flooded into our office to hide," she said.

Although Yang and her colleagues have cleaned the area, blood stains can still be seen on the road.

An unnamed driver complained angrily about the violence, "in August 2008 a rioter assaulted local police."

"Now a similar incident has happened again. Why do they attack innocent people?" he questioned.

This is the second major incident of violence in the province in less than a fortnight.

On July 18, Police shot down 14 'rioters' when they attacked a police station and killed four people in Xinjiang's Hotan city.

The attack left four people dead, including an armed police officer, a security guard, a woman and a teenage girl and at least four others were injured.

Police concluded late that the riot was "a severely violent terrorism case," which was organized and premeditated by terrorist groups.

Tension brewed in Xinjiang, bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, (POK) since 2009 riots during which Uyghurs attacked the mainland Hun Chinese settlers in which nearly 200 people were killed and several hundreds injured.

Since then the Chinese security forces have launched a crackdown on a separatist militant group called East Turkistan Movement, (ETM), which China accuses of fomenting trouble in the region besides Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer, who currently lives in US in exile.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, July 31, 2011, 09:00


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