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China Police, Assailants Die in Xinjiang Attack, Xinhua Says

Two auxiliary police officers and nine assailants died after an attack on a police station in northwestern China’s province of Xinjiang.

The assailants, armed with knives and axes, were shot dead during the attack in Serikbuya township of Bachu county in Kashgar prefecture, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing local police. Another two police officers were injured, the report said.

China’s westernmost province is beset by tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and ethnic Han Chinese, whom the government has encouraged to migrate to Xinjiang. Communist Party leaders this month set up a state committee to better coordinate security issues.

All the assailants were ethnic Uighur and they went to the police station to protest, Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, said in an e-mail responding to questions. He didn’t say what prompted the protest. Authorities also arrested “tens” of Uighur protesters, Raxit said.

China’s government faces a growing number of strikes, protests and riots that it considers threats to domestic stability, alongside ethnic tensions in western regions including Tibet. On Oct. 28, a sport-utility vehicle crashed and burst into flames near Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in front of the gate bearing the portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong, killing its three occupants and two bystanders. The government called the incident a terrorist attack.

Violence near the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar killed 21 people, including 15 neighborhood officials and police and six attackers in April. Unrest in the city of Urumqi in 2009 left almost 200 people dead.

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