At least 15 people were killed and 14 were injured during a “terrorist attack” in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the northwest, Xinhua reported Saturday, citing local authorities. The attack occurred at a “food street” in Shache County on Friday.
According to the Xinhua report, 11 people of the 15 were attackers who had reportedly thrown explosives, knives and axes at civilians in the region. Police officials, who were reportedly patrolling the area, fought them back and killed most of them. The latest attack follows one in Sache County in July, when 96 people, including 59 attackers, were killed after a similar attack.
The Xinjiang region has witnessed ongoing violence as the Uighur community in the region claims that the government’s repressive policies and discrimination against the community have provoked unrest. Beijing denies the claim and says the attacks are motivated by separatist intentions.
Last week, a Chinese court rejected an appeal made by Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti, who has been jailed on separatism charges. Additional reports found that seven of Tohti’s students were secretly being tried by China for collaborating with him.
In August, Chinese officials detained a man in the Xinjiang province for spreading rumors about the July attack. In May, a bomb detonated in a vegetable market in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, killing 43 people. In March, a group of masked men attacked a railway station in Kunming, Yunan province, killing 30 people.
Violence in the Xinjiang region has killed nearly 400 people in the last 20 months, despite Beijing’s claims that the attackers were from outside China.