By Cal Widdall
Uyghurs burn the Chinese flag during the 2009 riots
Xinhua news agency has reported that a group armed with knives have killed ten people in the northwestern region of Xinjiang yesterday. Two of the attackers were allegedly shot dead by police.
The Guardian has also revealed that internet searches for Yecheng and Kashgar have been blocked, whilst calls to government offices in the region are being left to ring unanswered.
As with the recent spate of Tibetan protests, independent media outlets have been unable to verify the claim. The World Uyghur Congress has released the following information on the events.
From The New York Times:
Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the German-based World Uyghur Congress, said that local Uighurs told him seven armed Chinese security personnel were killed and three people were shot to death. He said 10 people were injured, including two seriously hurt, and police have detained 84 people. Police have sealed off the area, he said.
Dilxat said the violence erupted because Uighurs “could no longer bear China’s systematic repression,” and have been denied outlets for peaceful protest.
Xinjiang has always been a restive region, and reports of violence are nothing new. Almost 200 people died in 2009 when riots broke out between Uyghurs and Han Chinese, and last year 14 Uyghurs stormed a police station, murdering four people before being killed themselves.