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Twelve dead in violence linked to terrorism in China

ASIA
By Reuters | January 26th 2014

XINJIANG: Chinese police shot dead six people during a "terrorist" attack in the agitated western region of Xinjiang and six more died when explosives they were carrying detonated, state media said, as officials accused a prominent academic of aiding militants.

Police came under attack on Friday by a group throwing explosive devices in Xinhe county, the official news agency Xinhua said on Saturday, citing regional authorities, the latest violence to jolt an area with a large Muslim population.

Five suspects were captured and one policeman was slightly wounded, Xinhua said.

Xinjiang has been the theatre of numerous incidents of unrest in recent years, which the government often blames on the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), although experts and rights groups cast doubt on its existence as a cohesive group.

Around 100 people, including several policemen, have been killed in violence in Xinjiang since last April, according to state media reports.

Many rights groups say China has overplayed the threat posed by militants from the large Uighur minority, Muslims who speak a Turkic language, to justify tough controls in energy-rich Xinjiang. The region lies on the borders of ex-Soviet Central Asia, India and Pakistan.

-Reuters

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