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China blames weekend's clashes in Xinjiang on separatists trained in Pakistan

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Kyodo News/AP

(Read caption) Armed member of Chinese Special Police Corps stand guard near the site of Sunday's attack in Kashgar in China's far-western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Aug. 1. China on Monday blamed Muslim extremists trained in Pakistan for killing six civilians in an attack in its troubled far western ethnic region where police later fatally shot five suspects.

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The Chinese government blamed the local Muslim minority for weekend violence in the northwestern province of Xinjiang (see map) that left at least 18 people dead in three separate attacks. According to Chinese authorities, the suspects trained in camps over the Pakistan border.

In the city of Kashgar, where the attacks took place, tensions constantly simmer between the indigenous Muslim Uighur minority and the Chinese government. The Uighurs accuse the government of religious repression, "plundering" the region's oil resources, and bringing scores of ethnic Han Chinese to the region to give them a majority, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In the first of the attacks on Saturday night, men hijacked a truck, killed the driver, and drove the truck into a crowd. They also stabbed several people after getting out of the truck, the Los Angeles Times reports. Blasts went off elsewhere in the city that same night and again on Sunday at a downtown restaurant, possibly as a distraction. When people rushed to the scene of the Sunday bombing, men began stabbing them.

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