Riots kill 27 in minority region of far west China

BEIJING: Riots in a restive far western region of China on Wednesday killed 27 people and left at least three injured, state media said.

The official Xinhua News Agency said knife-wielding mobs attacked police stations, a local governmentbuilding and a construction site Wednesday morning in a remote town in the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang(shihn-jahng) region.

The unrest in in Lukqun, a township in Turpan prefecture, left 17 people dead, including nine policemen, before police shot and killed 10 rioters, the agency reported. Xinhua cited officials with the region’s Communist Party committee.

Xinjiang is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs (WEE’-gurs) but is ruled by China’s Han ethnic majority. It has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years, including ethnic riots in Urumqi in 2009 that left nearly 200 people dead.

The report said three rioters were seized, and that police pursued fleeing suspects, though it did not say how many. It said three people were injured by the unrest and were being treated.