22 May 2014

Dozens dead after market attack in China

10:08 pm on 22 May 2014

Attackers in China's restive Xinjiang region have crashed two cars into shoppers at a market, killing 31 people, according to Chinese media reports.

They also threw explosives during the attack in the regional capital Urumqi on Thursday. More than 90 people were injured, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

The Ministry of Public Security called it a "violent terrorist incident" and has blamed it on separatists from the Uighur ethnic minority.

Xinjiang, which is home to the Muslim minority, has seen a spate of attacks in the past year.

Information about incidents in the region, where ethnic tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese continue, is tightly controlled, the BBC reports.

The World Uyghur Congress said the authorities in the Chinese capital Beijing should not increase the crackdown in Xinjiang.

A spokesperson told the BBC the violent incidents were a direct result of Beijing's policies in the region.

Xinjiang lies in China's far west, bordering Central Asia. China says it is pouring money into the region, but some Uighurs say their traditions are being crushed.

In 2009, tensions erupted and about 200 people died in riots in Urumqi.