Attack on police in China’s Xinjiang, 4 dead

Two hostages, a paramilitary policeman, a guard died in the attack, as well as several attackers.

Beijing: At least four people died when a mob attacked a police station in western China`s restive Xinjiang region, taking hostages and setting it on fire, state media said on Monday.

Two hostages, a paramilitary policeman and a guard died in the attack, as well as several of the attackers, it reported. Six hostages were freed.

The situation has now been bought "under control", it said, and a team from the state anti-terrorism office was on its way to the scene. The attack took place in the city of Hotan, state television said.

The Xinjiang government was not immediately available for comment.

Beijing often blames what it calls violent separatist groups in Xinjiang for attacks on police or other government targets, saying they work with al Qaeda or Central Asian militants to bring about an independent state called East Turkestan.

Last August, seven Chinese military police were killed when a member of the Uighur minority rammed them with an explosives-laden vehicle in the Xinjiang border region.

Many Uighurs --a Muslim, Turkic-speaking people native to the region -- chafe under rule from Beijing and restrictions on their language, culture and religion.

They now make up less than half of Xinjiang`s population after decades of immigration by the majority Han from other parts of China.

Bureau Report

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