Page last updated at 10:32 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 11:32 UK

Two police die in Xinjiang clash


Two policemen are reported to have been killed in China's north-western region of Xinjiang.

Reports from the scene suggest a gunfight broke out between police and seven militants, including one woman. At least two policemen are in hospital.

This is the latest in a string of violent attacks in the area, which China has blamed on separatists.

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

In the most deadly recent attack, 16 police were killed in Kashgar on 4 August - four days before the Olympic Games began in Beijing.

Beijing regularly accuses Uighur extremists of seeking a separate state, but critics say such threats are exaggerated.

The latest outbreak of violence is said to have happened on Wednesday in Jiashi County, close to Kashgar.

Both Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uighur Congress based in Germany, and a local official confirmed that two policemen had died.

Mr Raxit said witnesses had heard gunfire and people being arrested.

Between two and six police officers are in hospital.

Mr Raxit said mass detentions were taking place following the clash, and called for the international community to stop the crackdown.

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