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China police kill 7 kidnappers in hostage rescue in Xinjiang

(Xinhua)

12:02, December 29, 2011

URUMQI - Police opened fire and killed seven kidnappers during a hostage rescue mission in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region Wednesday night, local authorities said Thursday.

A group of "violent terrorists" kidnapped two people in the remote mountainous areas of Pishan county, Hotan prefecture, at about 11 pm Wednesday. Police opened fire as the kidnappers "resisted arrest," a spokesman with the Xinjiang regional government said.

Seven kidnappers were shot dead, and four others were wounded and arrested. One police officer was killed and another wounded in the rescue. Two hostages were freed.

No more details were immediately available as authorities are investigating the case.

But there was speculation that the kidnapping was linked to a surge in religious extremism in the Muslim ethnic Uygur-dominated area that borders the Kashmir region controlled by Pakistan and India.

Police reported another kidnapping earlier this month in Pishan in which the extremists kidnapped and brutally murdered a Uygur man for drinking alcohol, an act considered taboo by Muslims.

"Salute the police officer who sacrificed his life for the people," a microblogger wrote on Sina Weibo, China's most popular Twitter-like service.

"There should be zero tolerance toward violence and terrorism," wrote another microblogger. "The government must high-handedly crack down upon violent elements, otherwise the government is delinquent."

Pishan, like many towns and villages in the south of Xinjiang, is predominantly populated by Uygurs, and the Han people, China's majority ethnicity, account for less than 2 percent of the local population.

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  1. Name

donato at 2011-12-30220.244.108.*
Majority of the citizens should go around their daily life in peace and security. Any criminals should be dealt with according to the laws of the land, more so against terrorists who should be wiped out, most importantly their instigators!
Sam Teng at 2011-12-29175.136.55.*
Kidnapping, violence and terrorism in any form and by anybody should not be tolerated and must be tackled firmly. I commend the Police force for their quick action in saving the victims of the kidnapping. My condolence also goes to the heroic act of the Police Officer killed in the operations. He sacrificed his life to save the victims. The people in the region should appreciate the responsibility of the Police Force there. In addition, the Police in the region should always be on the alert and take proactive action to crack down these terrorists before they strike again. The peoples cooperation in helping the Police is also vital.
  

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