BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in western China said Monday that police fatally shot eight "terrorists" who had attacked them using knives and explosives in the latest in a string of violent incidents in the region.
The Xinjiang government news portal Tianshan Net said that the group of nine attacked officers and burned police cars in Shache county, which is overseen by the famed Silk Road city of Kashgar.
A Xinjiang government press officer confirmed the report but said he had no further information. He gave only his surname, Cao. Police reached by phone in Shache and Kashgar said they had no information about the incident.
The Chinese government typically calls such incidents terrorist attacks linked to radicals based overseas, although there is little evidence that they are carefully organized.
Xinjiang is home to about 9 million Uighurs, many of whom complain that they've been marginalized by policies favoring Han migrants.
Beijing says it treats all minorities fairly and spends billions of dollars on development and improving living standards in Xinjiang.
Tianshan Net said the police took "resolute measures" by shooting the eight and arresting one, adding the case was under further investigation.
Monday's incident is the latest in a series of attacks pointing to growing unrest in Xinjiang, which has long been home to a simmering insurgency against Chinese rule led by militants among the region's native Turkic Muslim Uighur ethnic group.
This year has been particularly bloody, with a number of deadly clashes in Xinjiang and one in the heart of Beijing in which three attackers drove a vehicle through crowds in front of historic Tiananmen Gate, killing themselves and two tourists.
Scores of attackers and government officials have been killed, although the total figure isn't known because many incidents go unreported.
Two weeks ago, a clash in another county of Kashgar killed 14 assailants and two police officers, according to state media.