A mob carrying axes attacked a police station in China's Xinjiang province on Saturday, leaving eleven dead. Nine of the attackers were shot and killed, and two auxiliary police officers died of wounds.
The region is home to an insurgent Islamic movement that wants to break away from Chinese rule. The Turkic Muslim Uighur population used to be the dominant ethnic group in the region, but they've now been surpassed by the Han Chinese as the largest ethnicity. The group the Chinese government claims is responsible for the attack, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, has also been blamed for an attack in Beijing earlier this year. The Uighur ethnic group believes the group has been used as a scapegoat for the Chinese authorities to tighten restrictions on the ethnic group in the breakaway region.
The attackers used knives and axes to engage the police officers, who quickly shot them. The attack follows violent demonstrations earlier this year, where police fired on protesters. The specific police station had already been attacked once this year. Uighur's believe they are being systematically deprived of their rights by the Chinese government.
"I again call on international society to take emergency measures to stop the Chinese government from directly opening fire to suppress Uighur protesters and depriving them of using legal appeals and defending their rights," Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uighur Congress, told Al-Jazeera.
The Chinese government has not commented on the attack.