China: 11 Killed in Police-Islamist Clashes
11 people were killed in a confrontation Saturday between police and Islamic insurgents in the Xinjiang province of northwestern China.
The Xinhua news agency reported that two policemen and nine Muslim rebels were killed when the rebels attacked a police station. Nine attackers, who were shot to death, had been armed with axes and knives. The attackers killed two auxiliary police officers before they were themselves gunned down.
According to NDTV, the assault comes at a time of heightened tension within Xinjiang province, following a fiery attack in Beijing's Tiananmen Square last month which the government blamed on "terrorists" from the province backed by international Islamist militants.
Xinjiang - a resource-rich province in Western China - has been the scene of several violent clashes, the most recent of which left dozens dead in April, June and August this year. Ethnic Uyghurs, a mainly Muslim minority who make up a majority in Xinjiang, routinely complain of rights abuses against them by the Chinese authorities.
The incident is yet another example in a series of clashes around the world between Muslim extremists and foreign police forces.
Last week, three Muslim converts in London pleaded guilty to charges of confiscating alcohol, attacking and threatening to stab non-Muslims in attempts to impose Islamic Sharia law on the UK capital.
Meanwhile, clashes between Islamists and Russian nationals are ongoing in Chechen, Russia, as Islamists protest the Russian support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who hails from the Alawite minority. Last month, a bomb attack in Volgograd killed six people.