XINJIANG.GOV, TIANSHAN.NET, XINHUA (China), BBC (UK)
BACHU – Twenty-one people, including police officers and community workers, were killed in violent clashes in the ethnically-divided Kashgar region in the western Chinese Xinjiang Province, reported local officials on Wednesday.
The incident occured on Tuesday after three community workers found "suspicious individuals and knives in the home of a local resident," reported Xinhua. The community workers reported the situation to their superiors and waited for the local police to arrive.
According to Tianshan.net, gun fire broke out when police officers and community officials arrived to the scene.
Twenty-one people, including 15 community workers and police officers and six suspects were killed. Eight other suspects were arrested, according to the Xinjiang government website, Xinjiang.gov.
In recent years there have been a number of ethnic clashes and riots in Xinjiang, as a result of tensions between ethnic Muslim Uighur and the Han Chinese.
The BBC reports that while Chinese officials are calling the suspects "gang members" and "terrorist suspects," Dilxat Raxit, a spokesperson for the World Uighur Congress told the BBC the incident "was caused by the killing of a young Uighur by Chinese "armed personnel" as a result of a government clean-up campaign."