BEIJING -- State media on Monday released the identities of the victims of last week’s deadly ethnic confrontation in western Xinjiang region, as authorities indicated that they had made more arrests and uncovered evidence further linking the violence to terrorism.
The clash last Tuesday between police and Uighur residents on the outskirts of Kashgar left 21 people dead, including 15 police and neighborhood security officers whose names and photos were made public by CCTV. The identities of the remaining six, described as “mobsters” by government media, were not disclosed and presumed to be Uighurs.
Xinjiang has a history of violence between the dominant ethnic Han Chinese and the Uighurs, a Muslim minority who speak a Turkic language. In 2009 about 200 people died in rioting in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
Details of the latest incident have been sketchy. A Chinese government website said last week that three community officers tried to confiscate knives from a family at a house in Bachu County, but that they were ambushed by mobsters and taken hostage. There was a gun battle after police arrived, and the house was burned down.
A subsequent report in China Daily, a state-run newspaper, said that the three community workers alerted police after they noticed a group of people watching videos of terror activities. Six people were killed and eight were arrested.