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China

Twenty-one People Killed After Ethnic Clashes In Western China

XINJIANG.GOV, TIANSHAN.NET, XINHUA (China),BBC(UK)

Worldcrunch

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."

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Geopolitics

Smaller Allies Matter: Afghanistan Offers Hard Lessons For Ukraine's Future

Despite controversies at home, Nordic countries were heavily involved in the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. As the Ukraine war grinds on, lessons from that conflict are more relevant than ever.

Photo of Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Finnish Defence Forces in Afghanistan

Johannes Jauhiainen

-Analysis-

HELSINKI — In May 2021, the Taliban took back power in Afghanistan after 20 years of international presence, astronomical sums of development aid and casualties on all warring sides.

As Kabul fell, a chaotic evacuation prompted comparisons to the fall of Saigon — and most of the attention was on the U.S., which had led the original war to unseat the Taliban after 9/11 and remained by far the largest foreign force on the ground. Yet, the fall of Kabul was also a tumultuous and troubling experience for a number of other smaller foreign countries who had been presented for years in Afghanistan.

In an interview at the time, Antti Kaikkonen, the Finnish Minister of Defense, tried to explain what went wrong during the evacuation.

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“Originally we anticipated that the smaller countries would withdraw before the Americans. Then it became clear that getting people to the airport had become more difficult," Kaikkonen said. "So we decided last night to bring home our last soldiers who were helping with the evacuation.”

During the 20-year-long Afghan war, the foreign troop presence included many countries:Finland committed around 2,500 soldiers,Sweden 8,000,Denmark 12,000 and Norway 9,000. And in the nearly two years since the end of the war, Finland,Belgium and theNetherlands have commissioned investigations into their engagements in Afghanistan.

As the number of fragile or failed states around the world increases, it’s important to understand how to best organize international development aid and the security of such countries. Twenty years of international engagement in Afghanistan offers valuable lessons.

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