Police kill 7 hostage-takers in China’s Xinjiang

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 23:06 EDT
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BEIJING — China said Thursday police killed seven “terrorists” who took hostages in the nation’s restive Xinjiang region during a rescue operation that left one police officer dead.

A “violent terrorist group” kidnapped two people in the northwestern region’s Pishan county late Wednesday night, prompting a stand-off with police, the Xinjiang government said on its official Twitter-like weibo account.

During the stand-off in Pishan, in southern Xinjiang, the kidnappers killed one police officer and wounded another. Police opened fire and killed seven of the suspects, and wounded and arrested four others, it added.

The two hostages were subsequently rescued, it said, without providing further details.

Xinjiang — a resource-rich region that borders eight countries — has been the scene of sporadic bouts of violence, much of which has been blamed by Beijing on the “three forces” of extremism, separatism and terrorism.

The region is home to roughly nine million Turkic-speaking Uighurs who have long bristled under Chinese rule, and many members of the ethnic minority accuse the government of religious and political repression.

It was unclear whether the kidnappers involved in the latest incident were Uighurs.

Police in Pishan refused to comment when contacted by AFP, and the local government was not immediately available for comment.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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