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Xinjiang clash

Beijing, Dec. 16 (Reuters): Chinese police shot and killed 14 people during a riot near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar in which two policemen were also killed, the local government said today. It was the latest unrest in a region that has a substantial Muslim population.

China has previously called some of the violence in the far western region of Xinjiang the work of Islamist militants plotting holy war. Describing the incident which happened late yesterday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the ministry of foreign affairs, stopped short of directly blaming Islamist militants but said a “violent terror gang” attacked police with explosives.

“It once again showed the true face of violent terror. It should be condemned by all people who love peace and stability,” she told a daily news briefing. “This conspiracy does not enjoy popular support and is doomed to failure.” The regional government said police were attacked by a mob throwing explosive devices and wielding knives when they went to arrest“criminal suspects” in a village near Kashgar.

“Police responded decisively,” the government said in a brief statement, adding that two people had been detained and that an investigation had been launched.

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