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Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 10:53 UK

Renewed violence in west China

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Three security staff have been stabbed to death in China's Xinjiang region, the third attack there in eight days.

Assailants killed the men at a checkpoint near the city of Kashgar, Chinese state media said.

Sixteen police officers were killed in an attack in Kashgar earlier this month, but state media said there was no evidence linking the two attacks.

Xinjiang is home to many Muslim Uighurs, some of whom want independence in the region they call East Turkestan.

There has been a rise in violent incidents in Xinjiang in recent months, which China has blamed on separatists seeking to disrupt the Olympic Games.

Suspected Muslim separatists also launched a series of bomb attacks in Kuqa, in southern Xinjiang, on Sunday, which left 11 dead.

Arrest report

Tuesday's attack happened at a checkpoint about 30 km (18 miles) from the border city of Kashgar.

Attackers - it is not clear how many - jumped out of a passing vehicle and stabbed the men to death. Three men died and a fourth was injured, Xinhua news agency said.

News of the attack emerged hours after Chinese state media announced that the situation in Kuqa, scene of Sunday's attacks, had returned to normal.

Police tape seals off the scene of one of the attacks in Kuqa on 10 August 2008

Early on Sunday, a string of explosions took place in supermarkets, hotels and government buildings across the city.

One security guard died, two attackers blew themselves up and eight were shot by police, Xinhua said.

A Uighur activist has accused Chinese authorities of arresting dozens of people in the wake of the blasts.

Dilxat Raxit, of the pro-independence World Uighur Congress, said more than 90 people had been arrested in Kuqa, as well as others in nearby counties.

Local people had heard the sound of detainees being beaten and tortured, he said in a statement.

He urged the international community to put pressure on China to end "inhumane crimes against ethnic Uighurs".

But the Kuqa local government said that Mr Raxit's allegations were untrue.

Xinjiang is home to more than eight million Uighurs.

China says it is bringing development and prosperity to the region, but activists accuse Beijing of suppressing traditional Uighur culture and religion.



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