But no decision is made on the nationality of the 17, who are claimed by both Turkey and China.
The residents were involved in providing religious instruction or sending their children to attend classes.
Strong winds help spread the blaze, leaving seven dead and eight injured in Karamay, sources say.
A group of Uyghurs snatched him from his home two weeks ago.
They had reportedly hacked a paramilitary chief, two of his family members, and a security guard to death.
Two others are wounded after the attack targeting Han Chinese bystanders.
Conflicts between Uyghurs and Chinese stem from repression, not religious radicalism, local critics say.
The men had refused to submit to a search by police.
Right groups examine such figures to see if the Chinese judicial system discriminates against Uyghurs.
Rebiya Kadeer says Zhang Chunxian’s remarks are an attempt to cover up his own failed policies in the region.
Ethnic Uyghurs were three times as likely as Han Chinese to have been killed, the group says in a report.