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Unrest in China's Xinjiang kills 21 people: local official


Twenty-one people, including police officers and social workers, were killed in violent clashes in China's ethnically-divided western region of Xinjiang, a local official said Wednesday.

"Twenty-one persons were killed in all... including social workers and policemen," an official surnamed Cao from the provincial government's news office said of the incident, which, he added, occurred on Tuesday.

Gun fights broke out in Bachu county, in the west of the province, after police went to search the home of locals suspected of possessing guns, a report on Tianshan Net, a government-run news website, said.

The report described the fighting as a "violent terror incident".

It said 15 of those killed were either police or social workers, with 11 of them being members of China's Uighur ethnic minority, who live mainly in Xinjiang.

A further six "gang members" were shot dead in the violence, the report said, without giving their identities.

Cao confirmed the contents of the report, but said he did not know how many police were among the dead.