Chinese Police Shoot Dead 2 Uighurs at Vietnam Border
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Chinese police shot dead two ethnic Uighurs trying to cross the border with Vietnam, state media said on Monday, as the public security ministry accused a separatist group of orchestrating hundreds of cases of human smuggling.
Hundreds of people have been killed around China in the past two years in violence between majority Han Chinese and Uighurs, a Muslim minority from China's western Xinjiang region.
Chinese authorities say they worry that Uighurs go abroad to link up with extrimist militants, but human rights groups say Uighurs are fleeing persecution under harsh government policies, Reuters reported.
A "conflict" occurred when the Uighurs "violently resisted arrest" near a highway tollbooth on Sunday night in Pingxiang city in the southern region of Guangxi, the China News Service said.
"Police ultimately shot dead two people, and one person fled toward a residential community," the news agency cited local authorities as saying.
It gave few details of the incident, but said armed police had mounted a city-wide search for the man who fled.
The flow of Uighurs across China's porous southern border has swelled in recent years and groups have surfaced in Southeast Asia seeking political asylum.
On Sunday, China's Ministry of Public Security said that since May, a task force on human smuggling across the country's southwestern borders had uncovered 262 cases.
The smuggling is "mainly organized abroad and controlled behind the scenes by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in efforts to spread religious extremism, and bewitch and incite people to flee abroad to take part in jihadist activities," the ministry said in a statement on its website.