Blasts clashes in China's restive region kill 12
BEIJING (AP) -- Six people died in explosions and another six were shot dead by police in fresh violence in China's restive western region of Xinjiang, home to the ethnic minority Uighurs, state media reported.
Assailants threw explosives at police in Xinhe county in the Aksu prefecture on Friday, triggering a clash in which police killed six and captured five suspects, according to the Tianshan news portal, which is run by the regional Communist Party.
Another six people died in blasts, the news portal said, without providing details.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Friday that the Uighur town of Xinhe was shaken by three blasts that hit a hair salon, a produce market and a vehicle that exploded after it was surrounded by police.
The case is under investigation.
Xinjiang is home to low-intensity insurgency by native Turkish Muslim Uighurs against what they see as discrimination and religious suppression by China's majority Han people. The government has responded with a crackdown on what it calls terrorism incited by separatists who are influenced by radical Islam.
The Tianshan report called Friday's violence an act of terrorism.
Last year, clashes between authorities and members of the minority group left scores dead, including 40 police officers.
The violence also included an unprecedented attack on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing that killed three Uighur assailants and two tourists last year.