It appears that Chinese ostracization of Xinjiang’s ethnic Turks has led to yet another outburst of frustration-driven violence.
The local government of Xinjiang, in northwestern China, announced on Sunday that a total of 11 people were killed in an assault on a police station. It is the latest in a series of disruptive incidents suggesting growing unrest in the area.
In a statement posted in the regional government’s microblog, the Turkic belligerents were said to have used broad knives and axes in the attack in Bachu county’s Serikbuya township, near the historic city of Kashgar. Two auxiliary police officers and nine of the attackers made up the 11-man casualty, with another two police officers severely injured.
Xinjiang has long played host to a seething, simmering insurgency against supposed Chinese Caesarism led by radicals 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 the historic Tiananmen Gate, killing themselves and two tourists in a sad display of wanton aggression.
Typically, authorities are quick to blame the repeated restive acts of violence on a cell of Uighur terrorists allied with al-Qaida. On the other hand, more sensitive activists have pointed the finger at desperation fuelled by despair over economic and social discrimination, coupled with cultural and religious restrictions the Uighur people endure.