Already on edge over a series of attacks in recent months, northwest China is reeling from another deadly incident.
This time, according to Chinese official media, 13 attackers drove a truck into a police station and detonated explosives. Officers fatally shot all the assailants. While three police officers were wounded, no civilians were hurt in the incident. (via Euronews)
China's state-run news agency offered few details on the suspects, except to describe them as “gangsters” and to note the increase of “violent attacks in the name of 'jihad.'" (Via Xinhua)
You see, the attack happened in China’s restive northwestern Xinjiang Province. Xinjiang is home to the Uighurs — a Turkic-speaking, predominantly Muslim ethnic group. (Via Google)
They have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the China’s communist government and say they’re treated as second-class citizens thanks to political and religions restrictions. (Via World Uyghur Congress)
Ethnic riots between the Uighurs and the region’s Han majority have increased in recent years. Beijing has blamed Uighur extremists for carrying out a string of recent incidents the government has branded as terrorism.
That includes the region’s deadliest incident in recent years — this explosion at a market in Urumqi last month that killed 39 people. (Via Arirang)
And in March, alleged Uighur separatists were blamed for a knifing spree at a train station left 29 dead. (Via CNN)
The Chinese government has upped security efforts in recent months, and has launched a year-long anti-terrorism campaign in Xinjiang.
According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese authorities have arrested and tried dozens for “spreading extremist propaganda, possessing banned weapons and other crimes.”
A Chinese court recently sentenced three people to death for this October car crash near Beijing’s Tiananmen Square that killed five and injured dozens. (Via The Guardian)