At the Chinese border with Central Asia, two men in a dump truck hit a group of policemen and tossed grenades into their barracks killing 16 police officers.
The Beijing Olympics will soon start in four days and the Chinese have fortified the Beijing area and other areas to prevent incidents like this but it happened without a warning in Kashgar, Xinjiang province according to Xinhua News Agency.
Kashgar, or Kashi in Chinese, is the name of an oasis town that was once a stop on the Silk Road caravan routes and lies about 80 miles from the border with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Previously, China received a warning from Turkistan Islamic Party, one of the minority Muslim groups aiming to get a separate country who vowed to disrupt the Olympics. Whether they caused this incident in not clear.
The attackers, two men came in a dump truck at 8 a.m. this morning and hit the police officers, who were jogging in one of their daily routines. The attackers then threw grenades into the hotel, where the police were staying near the border post in Kashgar.
The attackers’ truck hit an electric pole and the pair jumped out of it and throw grenades at the barracks and also attacked the policemen with knives according to Xinhua.
14 of the officers died at the spot and two more died when they were to a hospital. 16 more were taken to hospital with injuries.
The police were able to capture the two attackers, one of them had a leg injury according to the police report.
The Uighurs, the minority Muslim group have fought with the Chinese are demanding a separate country, an independent East Turkistan and have periodically attacked the army and the police with a series of bombings like this in Xinjiang province and other areas.
Both China and the U.S. have labeled this group as a terrorist organization. They also think the group might be receiving support from Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Uighurs have complained that they are the mistreated by the dominant Chinese group just like the Tibetans and are also threatened with influx of Chinese into their area. Many of the Uighurs have fled to Pakistan.
China has a formidable army, they can easily defend such attacks in Beijing but this incident is an eye-opener for them and will further fortify the area during the Olympics.