At least one person has been killed and twenty captured during an attempt by religious extremists to cross the country border into southern China, local media reported.

Details of the event were not clear or detailed in initial press reports. On its southern side, China is bordered by Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan and Nepal. The extremists are thought to have crossed over into China from one of those six countries.

In the spring, China experienced several terrorist attacks, but they were carried out in the northern part of the country. 

A bomb attack at a railway station in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region of China, killed three people and wounded 79 in May. The attack was carried out by two individuals who according to various media reports were suicide bombers. 

Though no one claimed responsibility for the incident, the attackers were thought to be linked to the Muslim Uighur population in Xinjiang, a resource-rich western China region where the local majority is dissatisfied with the rule of the minority Han Chinese. The Chinese government has linked several past attacks to Uighur extremists.

Within the Uighur community, grievances center on claims that the advent of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and the incorporation of the short-lived Uighur state of the East Turkestan Republic has brought subjugation and scant economic opportunity. Beijing points to large-scale investments and infrastructure -- not least, the development of vast crude oil and natural gas fields -- in arguing that Chinese rule has lifted Xinjiang. Uighurs complain that most of the spoils have been captured by Han Chinese, migrants who have arrived from other parts of China to take jobs, and by state-owned companies that have secured the profits.

It is unclear if Tuesday's event is linked to the terrorist activity in the north.