BEIJING (AFP) – Dozens of people were killed and injured in a “terrorist attack” in China’s far western Xinjiang region, home to the mainly Muslim Uighur minority, state media reported Tuesday.
“A gang armed with knives and axes attacked a police station and government offices” in Shache county early Monday, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local police.
“Dozens of Uighur and Han civilians were killed or injured” when some moved to a nearby township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles, the report said.
“Police officers at the scene shot dead dozens of members of the mob,” it added.
The attack came on the eve of Muslims in China marking the Eid festival at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, said in an e-mail that more than 20 Uighurs were shot dead by armed authorities while 10 were injured.
A total of 13 Chinese security personnel were killed and injured, he said citing what he described as a local source, and about 67 people were arrested.