An attack in a Muslim-majority province in far western China has left 16 police officers dead.2008-08-04 22:56:33
Attackers kill 16 police in Chinese border province
An attack in a Muslim-majority province in far western China has left 16 police officers dead.
In this June 18, 2008 file photo, a Chinese paramilitary officer keeps watch over spectators and journalists at Aitigar Square during the Olympic torch relay in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China on June 18, 2008. (AP /Robert F. Bukaty)
Xinhua, China's official news agency, cited local police in calling Monday's event a "suspected terrorist attack."
Two men drove a dump truck into a group of jogging police officers in Xinjiang province and then tossed homemade explosives into the officers' barracks.
They "also hacked the policemen with knives," the report said.
Fourteen officers died immediately. Two more died en route to hospital. Sixteen others were wounded, Xinhua said.
Police arrested the two attackers. One of them had a leg injuy, it said.
The attack's exact location hasn't been determined yet. It may be in Kashgar, or Kashi in Chinese -- an oasis town on the old Silk Road that lies about 130 kilometres from the border with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Local Muslims in Xinjiang province known as Uighurs have waged an irregular violent rebellion against Chinese rule. China annexed the province in 1955.
With the Olympics set to start in Beijing on Friday, Chinese security officials have been particularly on edge.
Xinhua reported that Xinjiang's police department had received reports of a possible upsurge in activity by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.
Last month, a video by the Turkistan Islamic Party surfaced on the Internet. In it, the group pleged to "target the most critical points related to the Olympics."
The party is believed to be based in Pakistan, with its core members having received training from al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban.
Most terrorism analysts think militants are more likely to attack softer targets than Olympics-related sites, where China has more than 100,000 soldiers and police on duty.
With files from The Associated Press
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