Six women were among several Uyghurs shot dead by police forces near Kashgar, Xinjiang Autonomous Region earlier this week during an attack that was allegedly triggered by one of the police officers lifting up a woman’s veil.
According to previous reports, police had shot and killed 14 Uyghurs when they were ambushed by “terrorist assailants” while trying to arrest suspects for an unspecified crime. The assailants killed two police officers during the clash, local officials said.
Radio Free Asia reports:
But a meeting in Saybagh on Tuesday led by officials of the local ruling Chinese Communist Party branch was told that 16 Uyghurs were shot dead, including six women, when police raided a large house of an extended family, sources told RFA’s Uyghur Service.
The Uyghurs who were killed left behind 21 young children, including a 55-day-old baby, the sources said.
The Konasheher internal security chief and the Saybagh police station chief were among those killed in the raid of the house as part of investigations into a previous violent incident, the sources said.
“Just as they entered the door, one terrorist rushed out and killed the county internal security chief,” one source told RFA. “The police station chief was also beaten to death in the front yard of the house.”
He also said that the occupants of the house attacked a police car and “exploded it with a bomb”, and that shooting devices and bombs were found at the scene.
Munich-based exile World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said that the clash underscored “indiscriminate shooting by the security forces” during one of many raids on Uyghurs who have long been subjected to discrimination and oppressive religious controls by hand of Beijing’s police force “in what is becoming a new trend of state sponsored violence.”
Residents who disputed the official account of circumstances told reporters that village police chief Memet Sidiq had triggered the subsequent acts of violence when he lifted the veil of a woman during a raid on the house. Residents said that the occupants were holding a meeting in preparation for an upcoming wedding ceremony.
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