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Report: Chinese Police Kill Five Suspects in Xinjiang


Chinese state media say police have killed five Muslims who allegedly were seeking to launch a holy war as security in China tightens ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games.

The official Xinhua news agency says the five were killed during a police raid on a terrorist hideout in Urumqi, the capital of the mostly-Muslim Xinjiang region. It says 15 suspected terrorists used knives to resist police, stabbing one officer and forcing police to open fire.

The report quotes a police official as saying two other suspects were hospitalized and several were detained. It says police found knives and jihadist training material during the Urumqi raid.

Human rights groups and Uighur groups in the West say Chinese authorities often use terrorism as a pretext to persecute the country's Muslim minority.

Security has been tightened in the region in the run-up to the Olympics. Authorities say they have broken up at least two Xinjiang-based terror plots this year.

One involved an alleged attempt to blow up an aircraft flying to Beijing; another to kidnap foreigners and carry out suicide attacks during the Olympics.

In a separate development, a Chinese official denied demolishing a mosque in Xinjiang for political reasons, saying the mosque was destroyed because it was built without authorization.

Xinjiang has eight million ethnic Uighurs, most of whom are Muslims. The Chinese government has cracked down on separatist activity in the area, and accused Uighur activists of trying to make Xinjiang an independent state.

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