12 killed in China riots (Lead)February 29th, 2012 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS
Beijing, Feb 28 (IANS) A violent mob Tuesday chopped to death at least 10 people in China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uygur region, following which police chased the mob and shot dead at least two rioters.
The clash took place in Yecheng county of Kashgar prefecture, Xinhua reported.
Witnesses said the mob attacked the victims on Xingfu Street around 6 p.m.
The report, however, gave no details as to what might have triggered the violence.
BBC said security has been high in the northwestern province since riots took place in 2009 in the provincial capital Urumqi between the Muslim Uyghurs, who are the largest ethnic group, and the Han Chinese community. Nearly 200 people were killed in that unrest, most of them Han.
Almost half of Xinjiang’s residents are Uyghurs, Turkic-speaking Muslims with cultural and ethnic links to Central Asia.
China has invested heavily in the region’s rich oil and gas deposits.
BBC said Uyghur allegations of discrimination and marginalisation have been behind anti-Han and separatist sentiment in Xinjiang since the 1990s.
Violence in July 2011 killed 32 people. A hostage-taking incident in December led to the death of seven kidnappers - part of a terror gang, according to Chinese state media.
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Tags: asia china, central asia, chinese community, chinese state media, ethnic group, kashgar, kidnappers, marginalisation, mob, muslim majority, northwestern province, oil and gas, prefecture, provincial capital, rich oil, rioters, riots, urumqi, uyghurs, xinhua