As riots in western China continue, the violence of clashes between police and protesters is escalating. Recent rioting in northwest China has left 24 people dead this week.
Official Chinese news agency Xinhua is reporting that 24 people were killed by rioters in Lukqun Township in China‘s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Wednesday. At around 6 am local time, the rioters reportedly attacked the township’s police stations, a local government building, and nearby construction site.
Of the 24 dead, police reportedly shot and killed 11 rioters. 16 of the dead are reportedly of the Uyghur ethnic group. In addition to the 24 people killed, 22 police officers and civillians were reportedly injured, and police cars were set on fire. The Chinese government is calling the incident a “violent terrorist attack.”
The Uyghur ethic group is a Muslim minority living primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur region of western China. Similar riots killed 21 people in April, and in 2009 nearly 200 people died as a result of Uyghur riots. The riots stem from ethnic tensions between the Uyghurs and ethnic Chinese people.