22 October 2012
(c) 2012 Kyodo News
HONG KONG, Oct. 22 -- A Uyghur was shot dead by police after he shot and seriously injured an officer at a police station in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a Hong Kong-based human rights watchdog said Monday.
Without identifying the perpetrator, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said the Uyghur stormed into the Tuanjie police post in Kuerle city on Friday, grabbed a police firearm and shot at an officer.
The Uyghur was shot dead as he was fleeing while the wounded officer shot remains in hospital with serious injuries, the center said quoting confirmation from two civilians who were near the police station when the shooting happened.
Muslim Uyghurs and Han Chinese have had tense relations in the region. The two ethnic groups each account for over 40 percent of Xinjiang's 21 million population.
Six Uyghurs were held responsible for a string of attacks against police and civilians in Kashgar and Hotan in July 2011, leading to at least 40 people being killed and dozens injured.
China has blamed the Pakistan-based separatist group the East Turkistan Islamic Movement for masterminding the attacks in Xinjiang.
In 2009, an ethnic riot broke out in the capital city of Urumqi where Uyghurs took to the streets and attacked Han Chinese residents and businesses, leaving close to 200 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.