The death toll in the communal violence in China's western frontier
rose to 35 on Friday as more people succumbed to injuries sustained in
Wednesday's riots in Turpan county of Xinjiang province. Rioting also spread to
Hotan town on the Chinese border with Pakistan but there were no reports of
"At local time this afternoon, a violent attack occurred in Hotan city," state broadcaster CCTV said. "Currently, the incident is resolved and the number of casualties is being verified," it said indicating that there might have been some injuries or deaths.
The new incident occurred in the same province, Xinjiang but at a distance of nearly 1,000 kms away from Turpan country, where the violence first erupted. Among the dead are nine security personnel and 11 people who fell to police bullets. Another 21 people have been injured.
"This is a terrorist attack, there's no question about that," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. "As to who masterminded it, local people are still investigating."
The government has not yet spelt out what sparked the violence although the reference to terrorists suggests it was investigating the role of separatists engaged in the fight to create an independent nation under the name of East Turkmenistan.
The province has seen sporadic violence including the killing of 21 people last April and a major riot in 2009 when 200 people lost their lives.
The incidents also resulted in a clash of words between the Chinese and US government after Washington said it was "deeply concerned" by the ongoing reports of discrimination and restrictions against Uygur Muslims in China.
Hua accused the US of using double standards while discussing terrorism. The US, which has suffered from terrorist attacks, should be careful about what it says on the issue in another country, she said.
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