Xinjiang police attack under investigation

By Lin Meilian and Qiu Yongzheng Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-18 1:38:02

Police said 11 people were killed in an assault on a police station on Saturday afternoon in China's far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Nine attackers, armed with knives and axes, were shot dead during the attack in Serikbuya, Bachu county in Kashi prefecture, some 1,200 kilometers southwest from the regional capital Urumqi. Two employees working with local police were killed and another two were injured, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday, citing local police.

Various regional government departments reached by the Global Times declined to comment on the attack, saying further investigation into the case is under way. Chen Li, director of the Publicity Office of Kashi, told the Global Times on Sunday that the regional government has not yet defined it as a terrorist attack.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, told Bloomberg that all the assailants were ethnic Uyghurs and they went to the police station to protest.

Wang Ping, a professor of ethnic issues with Xinjiang Normal University, argued that the assailants aim to split the region from China and cause inter-ethnic misunderstanding.

"From what they did and the consequences caused, their intentions are like terrorists," Wang said. "They are aiming to split the region from China and attract international attention."

The assault came in the wake of last month's terrorist attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. On October 28, three  suspects drove a car loaded with 400 liters of gasoline and rammed into crowds just below Mao Zedong's portrait, leaving five dead and injuring 40 others.

It was the first time in recent years that Beijing has seen a terror attack carried out by Uyghur extremists.

However, Xinjiang is no stranger to terrorist strikes. On April 23, also in Bachu, 21 police officers and community workers were killed by armed terrorists. Two men were sentenced to death and another three to prison sentences.

Lu Fugui, deputy head of Xinhe county, Aqsu prefecture, told the Global Times that the key to Xinjiang's development is ethnic unity.

"The key to promoting further development in Xinjiang is to maintain social stability and ethnic unity," Lu said.

To prevent and end social disruptions and improve public security, China will establish a State Security Committee, according to a communique issued last week after the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the series of attacks have proved the necessity of establishing a State Security Committee.

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