Skip to main content

Report: 12 killed in rioting in Xinjiang, China

By Peter Shadbolt, CNN
updated 4:16 PM EST, Wed February 29, 2012
A Uighur woman crosses a street in front of Chinese soldiers in Urumqi in this file picture dated July 15, 2009
A Uighur woman crosses a street in front of Chinese soldiers in Urumqi in this file picture dated July 15, 2009
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • China's Xinhua news agency reports 12 killed in rioting near Kashgar
  • The report says 10 were killed in the disturbance and police shot dead another two
  • Beijing has blamed militants of Uighur descent for outbreaks of violence in Xinjiang in recent years
  • Uighurs are ethnic Turks distinct from China's majority Han population

(CNN) -- Rioting near the northwestern Chinese city of Kashgar on Tuesday left 12 people dead, according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

The news agency said that 10 people were killed in riots in the restive Xinjiang province and police shot dead a further two people in the disturbance.

The report, which could not be independently verified, gave no details about what could have sparked the violence. It said a group of knife-wielding assailants attacked people in a market in Yecheng county.

Chinese authorities have blamed militants of Uighur descent for outbreaks of violence in Xinjiang in recent years. Uighurs are ethnic Turks who are linguistically, culturally and religiously distinct from China's majority Han population.

Beijing claims overseas-based militant Uighur groups linked to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement that allegedly trains in Pakistan have been fomenting trouble in the region.

The rioting coincides with the opening of a new 3.64 billion yuan ($579 million) highway linking Kashgar to Yecheng which lies 155 miles (258 km) to the south of the city.

In December, Chinese authorities killed seven Uighurs in a bid to free two hostages kidnapped in the rural county of Pishan, near Yecheng, in an incident which the Stockholm-based World Uighur Congress disputes.

The WUC said the deaths occurred when police opened fire on a demonstration outside a police bureau where Uighurs were protesting a recent security crackdown in Hotan city.

Xinjiang was rocked by the worst violence in decades in July 2009 when rioting between Uighurs and Han Chinese left nearly 200 people dead and 1,700 injured in the regional capital Urumqi.

The massive security clampdown in the wake of the violence has angered many Uighurs, who make up more than half of the 9 million people that live in the far western region of China, who say police have been behind a series disappearances.

Authorities in Xinjiang said last month they plan to recruit 8,000 extra police officers as China strengthens security in the run-up to a major leadership transition later this year.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 3:57 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Chinese students show a handmade red ribbon one day ahead of the the World AIDS Day, at a school in Hanshan, east China's Anhui province on November 30, 2009.
Over 200 Chinese villagers in Sichuan province have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy, state media reported.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, forcing the Nanjing-bound plane to turn back to Bangkok.
updated 12:03 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
updated 7:21 PM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Like Beijing today, Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons.
updated 12:42 AM EST, Sat December 6, 2014
At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
updated 3:26 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
updated 1:48 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
updated 3:55 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
Despite an anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past 12 months.
updated 7:01 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A 24-hour Taipei bookstore is a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms.
updated 8:53 PM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
ADVERTISEMENT