MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - Death toll in Monday’s attack on a police station and government offices in China’s Xinjiang province hits 96, Ifeng news website says referring to the local party committee.
Monday morning, a gang armed with knives attacked a police station and government offices in Elishku township in Shache county, and then moved to the neighboring Huangdi township, attacking civilians and setting cars on fire.
Previously, the death toll was reported at 32.
The Saturday meeting of the party committee announced that 37 civilians and 59 terrorists died in the attack, 13 people were injured. 31 vehicles were damaged, six cars were set on fire. The police arrested 215 suspected terrorists.
According to South China Morning Post which cited a source in a local party organization, the police arrested 41 people who participated in the attack. Agence France-Presse, referring to World Uyghur Congress, said a total of 13 Chinese security personnel were killed in the attack.
Xinhua cited the government as saying investigations showed the attack was «organized and premeditated», and «in connection with the terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement».
The attack broke out on the final day of Ramadan, prompting the violent outburst from Uighurs who object the Chinese rule.
Xinjiang province is home to China’s mainly Muslim Uighur minority and the attack was the latest in a series of violent incidents happening in the volatile region.
The Chinese leadership is inclined to consider the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) responsible for the assaults. Founded in late 1990s, the ETIM is believed to be linked to al-Qaeda and seeks to set up an independent state, so-called "East Turkistan," within China."