UK & World News

  • 29 July 2014, 18:55

'Dozens Killed' In China Terror Attack

Dozens of people have been killed or hurt in a terrorist attack in China's Xinjiang region, according to the Xinhua news agency.

A gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government office in Elixku, Shache County.

The gang then attacked civilians and smashed vehicles in nearby town Huangdi.

The news agency, citing local police, said "dozens of Uighur and Han civilians were killed or injured" during the attack on Monday.

It added: "Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob.

"Initial investigation showed that it was a premeditated terror attack."

Shache, also known by its Uighur name Yarkant, is close to the border with Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sky's Asia Correspondent Mark Stone said: "It's extremely hard to verify the accuracy of news to emerge from Xinjiang province because the information flow is tightly controlled and foreign journalists' movements there are heavily restricted.

"Xinhua news agency tends to report only a sequence or version of events sanctioned by the central government in Beijing.

"It's not clear why state media took more than 24 hours to report the attack."

Xinjiang has seen violent attacks over the last few years, which the China government blames on Islamist militants and separatists who it says are trying to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.

In May, an attack on a market in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, left 39 people dead and another 29 were killed by a gang armed with knives at a train station in Kunming in March.

Exiled Uighur groups have claimed repressive policies set by the government - including controls on Islam - have sparked unrest.

More than 200 people have died in the unrest in the last year.