China has announced the deaths of 28 people during a police crackdown in Xinjiang, home to many Muslim Uighurs. In September, the group allegedly launched a terror attack at a coal mine, killing more than a dozen people.
The Xinjiang regional government said on Friday police had killed 28 members of a “terrorist” group accused of carrying out an attack a couple months ago in the largely Muslim region of western China.
State newspaper Xinjiang Daily reported that those killed had links to the violent assault on a coal mine in September that left 16 people dead and 18 injured.
Radio Free Asia, a US government-funded broadcaster to the region, first reported the incident, claiming that at least 50 people were killed in the attack.
According to the Xinjiang Daily, the attackers fled into the mountains and were subsequently hunted down over the course of two months by Chinese security forces.
Xinjiang is home to the Uighurs, a restive Muslim minority that has long claimed to be the victim of Chinese oppression. The country’s officials on the other hand claim the region is a hotbed of Islamist militants seeking to wrest control from Beijing.
Human rights activists have been highly critical of the tactics used by the Chinese government in combatting these alleged extremists, accusing it of human rights abuses.
blc/msh (AFP, Reuters)