Chinese police say they have shot and killed three people described as knife-wielding militants from the mainly Muslim far western region of Xinjiang.
A fourth person was injured in the incident that occurred Monday in the northeastern city of Shenyang, according to social media posting by city police.
"Four terrorists armed with knives resisted arrest, [and] police fired shots only after the terrorists ignored warnings," read the statement.
Officials and state media described the men as ethnic Uighurs from Xinjiang, which has seen a disturbing increase in violent attacks against official and civilian targets.
Many exiled Uighurs see the violence as a desperate response to China's religious and economic discrimination against Uighurs, who have fled the region and even the country in waves.
Those shot Monday were among those trying to flee through China's northeast border, according to the World Uyghur Congress. The group's spokesman, Dilxat Raxit, said the men were trying to resist being rounded up by police.
Shenyang, where the shooting occurred, is about 3,000 miles from Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region. Police said no bystanders were killed in the incident, adding one Uighur woman and three children were also taken into custody.
The Chinese government says it is fighting foreign-backed jihadists that are trying to form a separate state in Xinjiang, though it is not clear to what extent the unrest has been planned by any single group.
Beijing denies discriminating against the Turkic-speaking Uighurs, saying it is pouring money into the region and improving living standards.