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China police kill 7 kidnappers in hostage rescue in Xinjiang

12-29-2011 10:33 BJT

URUMQI, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Police opened fire and killed seven kidnappers during a hostage rescue mission in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region Wednesday night, local authorities said Thursday.

A group of "violent terrorists" kidnapped two people in the remote mountainous areas of Pishan county, Hotan prefecture, at about 11 p.m. Wednesday. Police opened fire as the kidnappers "resisted arrest," a spokesman with the Xinjiang regional government said.

Seven kidnappers were shot dead, and four others were wounded and arrested. One police officer was killed and another wounded in the rescue. Two hostages were freed.

No more details are immediately available as authorities are investigating the case.

Pishan, an oasis county near the Taklamakan Desert, is located in the ethnic Uygur-dominated area of Xinjiang that is no stranger to violence.

In the nearby city of Hotan in July, a mob stormed a police station, hurled burning gasoline cylinders into rooms, took hostages, and attacked people indiscriminately with axes and knives. Eighteen people, including 14 attackers, were killed in the clash with police forces.

Days after the violence, two separate public attacks occurred in the city of Kashgar, also in Xinjiang's southern part, leaving 13 people dead and 44 others injured. Authorities said overseas-trained terrorists were responsible for the attacks.

Four suspects involved in the Hotan and Kashgar attacks were sentenced to death by court in September.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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