23 killed in clashes with Chinese forces near ‘Azad Kashmir’ border

Beijing: Twenty-three militants were killed during separate clashes with Chinese and Kyrgyz security forces as violence rocked China’s volatile Xinjiang province, bordering Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK), for the second day Saturday.
Eleven militants, believed to be from northwestern Xinjiang, were killed by Kyrgyz troops near the border with China, state-run media reported.
In a separate incident, six militants were shot dead by police and six more died in explosions they set off themselves in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, authorities said.
Xinjiang, home to Uygur Muslims, shares borders with Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and PaK and has been hit by militant violence.
The Kyrgyz border service chief said a group of militants, carrying hunting rifles and knives, was spotted in Pikertyk, 40 km from the border, by a park ranger who was killed in the violence, China’s state-run CCTV reported.
Kyrgyz border guards located and surrounded the militants, and a gunfight erupted when they refused to surrender. Eleven militants were killed.
After the incident, the Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry said Kyrgyzstan and China are working closely “in the fight against the evil forces of separatism, extremism and terrorism.”
In the other incident in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, police opened fire to fight back attacks by militants while they were making arrests following two blasts in Xinhe area, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Six suspects were gunned down and six others died in explosions set off by themselves, the local publicity department said.
Five persons were arrested and a policeman suffered minor injuries. Police seized explosives and other devices used to commit criminal acts, the report said.
Two people were killed in bomb attacks in the same region on Friday.—PTI