30 Nov 2014

Fifteen killed in western China attack

8:40 am on 30 November 2014

At least 15 people have been killed and 14 others injured during an attack in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, state media has reported.

Chinese armed police

Chinese armed police in the streets of the Muslim Uighur quarter in Urumqi. Photo: AFP

It said that the violence started when a group of "terrorists" attacked civilians in Shache county, 200km from the regional capital of Kashgar, the BBC reported.

Xinjiang was home to the Muslim Uighur minority group.

There had been a wave of violence in the region, with more than 150 people being killed so far this year.

China has blamed the unrest on Uighurs pushing for the region's independence.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the attackers on Friday threw bombs out of a vehicle before they stabbed people on a street lined with food stalls.

Eleven of the dead are reported to be the attackers.

An attack in the same region in July left nearly 100 people dead, including 59 assailants, state media said.

Confirming reports about incidents in Xinjiang is difficult, because access is tightly controlled and information flow restricted.

China is enforcing a security crackdown in Xinjiang, and Uighur activists say that the government's repression of Uighur culture and religious customs is fuelling the violence.

Earlier this week, the authorities announced plans to hire 3,000 former soldiers to patrol residential areas in the region.

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