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China police blame terrorists for Xinjiang violence

Published on Jan 27, 2014 11:56 AM

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese police said 12 people killed in Xinjiang last week were carrying out "terrorist attacks", after the latest unrest to hit the restive region, state media reported Monday.

An overseas rights group, meanwhile, pointed to China's "systematic repression" of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority as the trigger for violence.

Six people died in explosions - including blasts in a hairdressing salon and market - while another six were shot dead by police in Xinhe in Aksu prefecture in China's far west on Friday.

The vast Xinjiang region, home to the predominantly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, has for years been hit by sporadic unrest, which rights groups say is driven by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and immigration by Han Chinese.

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