Three Police Officers Among Eight Killed in New Xinjiang Violence

2014-10-13
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Map showing Hotan’s Guma county.
Map showing Hotan’s Guma county.
RFA

Two ethnic minority Uyghurs went on a stabbing spree in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region last week, killing three police officers and three government officials before they were gunned down by the authorities in the latest violence to hit the troubled region, according to local officials.

Abdurehim Tuniyaz, 25, and Ablikim Abdurehim, 26, staged the killings in Hotan prefecture’s Guma (in Chinese, Pishan) county on Friday in what could have been a revenge attack over the death in police custody of one of their brothers, one source said.

The two, who were on a motorcycle, began their stabbing rampage by killing two police officers on patrol in Guma township before taking the life of a government official near the area, the local officials said.

They then traveled to nearby Kokterek township, where they killed two government officials and a police officer.

The duo were on their way back to their home in Guma township on Sunday when they were surrounded by police and shot dead at a checkpoint, Turmemet Abdurehim and Abbas Khan, two village chiefs in the Kokterek township, told RFA’s Uyghur Service.

Only two of the dead were identified by the officials—one of them a woman police officer, Peridem Kuresh, and the other a male police officer, Ablkim Mehsut.

Both were Muslim Uyghurs while the third unidentified police officer was believed to be a majority Han Chinese, according to the officials.

The slaying came amid an anti-terror campaign launched in Xinjiang following deadly attacks blamed by Beijing on Uyghur separatists and Islamist insurgents seeking to establish an independent state.

Rights groups accuse the Chinese authorities of heavy-handed rule in Xinjiang, including violent police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people.

'Outstanding officer'

Kuresh was attached to the Kokterek police station and had been on patrol duty when she was stabbed to death, Khan said.

“She was a very strict and an outstanding officer and had received awards a couple of times for her good work,” he said.

The village chiefs said the motive of the attacks was unclear but a business owner in Guma township believed revenge by the two Uyghur youths could have been a reason.

Tuniyaz’s brother was detained during the Ramadan Muslim fasting month in July and had died in police custody.

“People are saying that it could have been a revenge attack for his brother who died in jail,” the business owner said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I believe so.”

A teacher in Guma township, also speaking on condition of anonymity, speculated that the authorities would classify the new attacks as the work of “separatists.”

“They were decent guys. When I last met them two years ago, they did not demonstrate any political leanings,” he said.

Death sentences

Meanwhile, a court in Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture has sentenced to death 12 people, all believed to be Uyghurs, blamed for attacks that killed 37 people in July, state media reported Monday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the court sentenced another 15 people to death with a two-year reprieve while nine others received life sentences. Another 20 people received terms of four to 20 years.

The sentences were linked to July 28 violence in Kashgar’s Yarkand (in Chinese, Shache) county in which police shot dead dozens of knife and axe-wielding Uyghurs who went on a rampage, apparently angry over restrictions during the Ramadan holiday and the cold-blooded killing of a family of five.

It was one of the worst clashes in Xinjiang since bloody riots in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009 between Uyghurs and majority Han Chinese that left almost 200 people dead.

The new sentences bring the number of death sentences passed for Xinjiang-related violence to almost 40 since June, with 21 executions publicly announced, according to Agence France-Presse.

It is difficult to verify official media reports on any violence in Xinjiang due to Beijing’s tight control over the region.

Reported by Shohret Hoshur for RFA’s Uyghur Service. Translated by Mamatjan Juma. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.

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Wangchuk

from NY

"John Fearless" sounds like yet another 50 Cent member spreading CCP propaganda online. The PRC invaded independent East Turkestan in 1949. The Uighurs are a colonized & occupied people, oppressed for decades by the CCP. Nevertheless, whether you agree w/ Uighur independence or not, the Uighurs have basic human rights under Chinese & int'l laws & the CCP has been violating those rights. You can't win loyalty through force or violence. It must be earned & the CCP have failed to win the hearts & minds of the Uighur people.

Oct 17, 2014 10:37 AM

MINH

from VIETNAM

STAND UP TO OVERTHROW THE BRUTAL COLONIAL REGIME
Chinese is apparently an invader. They leaned on their strength of a powerful country to take control of Tibet and other small sovereign nations violently. Now they continue their ever long effort to delete all rights of and cultural relics of the colonies’ people.
The whole world must identify clearly that the Communist China is plotting to rule all the world. They keep strengthening its military power and invade slowly and constantly islands and territories belonged to weaker countries in the region.
And China would make a mistake when it thinks it’s the right time to take lands and waters around the Pacific Ocean. Then the whole world would take part in fighting against China and it would have a failure as the same as Japan military regime’s in the WWII . And communist dictators would be put under strict punishment. We are looking forward to those days.

Oct 15, 2014 02:03 AM

John Fearless

from Chicago

Let don't forget who invade who. The Chinese are trying to keep the nation together and in an stable condition. With over fifty-five different ethnic groups and languages, the PRCH is a good example of provide EQUAL rights and economic development.

Oct 14, 2014 10:16 AM

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