18 People Died in the Assault on a Police Station

The Government of Xinjiang on Wednesday has risen the death toll to 18 – 14 “troublemakers”, two officers and two hostages – during the assault on a police station on Monday.

China called the incident that killed 18 people in the region inhabited by the Muslim minority a “grave terrorist attack” and denies that there was a peaceful protest before the riots.

“It was obviously a terrorist attack and was long-planned against the police,” said Hou Hanmin, head of the Information Office of the region.

“The attackers were not against a specific ethnic group,” Hou said, adding that there were deaths have both Chinese and Uighurs, but noted that “the rioters shouted slogans showing they’re religious extremists.”

To attract the attention of the police within the building, rioters first attacked two people near the police station, said Hou.

The local government’s initial investigation indicates that 18 “troublemakers” into the city on Saturday and bought or manufactured knives, explosives and other weapons later used in the attack on the police station, where armed police killed the attackers in 90 minutes.

In that operation, police rescued six people trapped by the “troublemakers”, according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

According to the official, there were four wounded, including a policeman and a security guard, recovering in the hospital and their lives are in danger.

Hotan (和田市), where the incident occurred, has a population of a 96.3 percent of Uighurs and 3.5 percent of Han Chinese.

The ethnic conflict came two years after another more serious that caused over 200 deaths and 1,700 injured in the regional capital, Urumqi, according to Chinese official count.