14 rioters shot down in Xinjiang attack

Updated: 2011-07-20 06:57


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HOTAN, Xinjiang - Police shot down 14 rioters who attacked a police station in Hotan city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Monday, a Communist Party official in Hotan said Wednesday.

The official, who declined to be named, said the attack left four people dead, including an armed police officer, a security guard, a woman and a teenage girl. At least three others were injured.

Rioters hacked security guard Memet Eli to death while they were trying to break into the Na'erbage police station shortly after 12 pm Monday, said Ablet Metniyaz, chief of the police station.

"He is just 25. He planned to get married in September," said Abliz, an officer of the police station.

In addition to Eli, an armed police and two civilians died in the incident, according to Metniyaz, 38, who has been serving as chief of the police station for three years.

The rioters had taken six civilian people and some police staff hostage, and set fire and smashed things in the police station, leaving damaged computers, printers, furniture and clothes scattered around, Metniyaz said.

Shouting frantic religious slogans like "Allah the only God", the rioters ran to the top floor and police opened fire to stop them, said an anonymous policeman with the police station.

When the attack took place, most of the police station's staff were following Metniyaz to visit local residents in an effort to seek their opinions about safeguarding public security.

The rioters had occupied the police station when Metniyaz led his team back.

"I shouted in Uygur language, asking the rioters to stop doing things that run against the law and to settle disputes in peaceful way. But they kept casting gasoline bottles and rocks to us," said Metniyaz.

"I saw the rioters hacking innocent people, some of them got injuries on their faces, noses and ears."

Rioters also attacked the adjacent industrial and commercial bureau, injuring two staff there.

All the rioters were male aged between 20 to 40. They spoke with non-Hotan accent and wore sneakers -- "probably to prepare for running away," said Metniyaz.

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