China reports 3 alleged assailants killed in far northwest

AP News
Posted: Jan 09, 2017 12:24 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese state media outlet reported Monday that three alleged assailants wanted in relation with a 2015 terrorist incident have been killed in the country's far northwest.

The official Communist Party-run news portal Tianshan Net said the three were killed by authorities in the Xinjiang region on Sunday after resisting arrest. The report said they were wanted in connection with an incident on April 22, 2015, but gave no details.

Last month, state media reports said three knife-wielding assailants attacked staff at a Communist Party office in Xinjiang and set off an explosive device, killing two and injuring three. The attackers were then shot dead by police.

Authorities have blamed the attacks on radicals among the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighur (WEE-gur) ethnic minority seeking independence from Beijing.

Xinjiang has been smothered in heavy security since deadly riots in 2009 that pitted Uighurs against ethnic Han Chinese migrants. Those measures were tightened further following a wave of attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China blamed on Uighur separatists.

In November 2015, police killed 28 people who authorities said had killed 11 civilians and five police officers at a remote coal mine in Xinjiang controlled by members of China's Han majority.

Beijing's critics say the violence in Xinjiang is prompted by government policies that have marginalized Uighurs in their native region. Some Uighurs are also believed to have been radicalized by extremist jihadi ideologies that have spread from Central Asia to the Middle East.