Three knife-wielding minority Muslim Uighurs were shot dead by police in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang on Monday. Local authorities reportedly called the men “Xinjiang terrorists” shouting Islamic holy war slogans.
Authorities reportedly said that the men were fatally shot during a raid at a rented apartment on Monday afternoon. A woman was injured in the incident, while a 28-year-old woman from the town of Hotan in southern Xinjiang province was taken into custody along with three “accompanying children.” The Shenyang police reportedly said that no civilians were killed during the raid.
"When police pursued the terrorist suspects, four terrorists armed with knives resisted arrest. Police fired shots only after the terrorists ignored warnings," the Shenyang public security bureau said, on its official microblog late on Monday, according to Reuters. The statement was later removed from the website.
Over 200 officers, including an anti-terrorist unit, were involved in the raid and evacuated nearby residents, BBC reported.
Shenyang is about 2,485 miles east of Xinjiang, an officially "autonomous" province, which has seen deadly clashes and attacks carried out allegedly by the ethnic Uighur Muslims, who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
Hundreds of Uighurs have reportedly fled China in recent years and have illegally crossed the Chinese border into Southeast Asian countries and then on to Turkey. Several rights groups claim that the minority community is mostly fleeing the violence in Xinjiang and harsh cultural and religious suppression. The government, however, says that they are seeking to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations.