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Rioting in western China: Why are 27 dead? (+video)

Rioting in western China: In one of the deadliest incidents since 2009, rioting broke out and assailants attacked police and other people with knives and set fire to police cars in western China Wednesday.

Why is there rioting in Western China?
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Assailants attacked police and other people with knives and set fire to police cars in China's restive far-western region on Wednesday in violence that killed 27 people, one of the bloodiest incidents since unrest in the regional capital killed nearly 200 in 2009.

The early-morning violence — described by state media as riots — also left at least three people injured in a remote area of the Turkic-speaking Xinjiang region, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Police stations, a government building and a construction site were targeted in the attacks, it said.

Xinhua said the attackers stabbed victims and set fires, killing 17 people including nine police or security officials, before officers shot and killed 10 of the assailants in Lukqun, a township in Turpan prefecture. The agency cited officials with the region's Communist Party committee.

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Xinjiang (shihn-jeeahng) is home to a large population of minority Muslim Uighurs (WEE'-gurs) but is ruled by China's Han ethnic majority. The region borders Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years, including ethnic riots four years ago in Urumqi, the regional capital.

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