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Three Killed In Renewed Violence In China's Far West

BEIJING -- Three security officers were stabbed to death and another wounded in renewed violence in far northwest China's Xinjiang region, state media said.

China has blamed two earlier attacks in the restive area more than 3,000 kilometers from the capital on Muslim separatists seeking to disrupt the Olympic Games.

An assailant jumped off a vehicle passing a road checkpoint about 30 kilometers from Kashgar and stabbed the officers, the Xinhua news agency said.

It was the same area where 16 police were killed in a bombing and stabbing attack just over a week ago but there was no evidence linking the two, Xinhua said.

Police are searching for suspects after an August 3 attack in Kuqa, in the south of Xinjiang, where 11 were killed in a series of supermarket bombings.

China says militants seeking an independent "East Turkestan" homeland for Muslim Uyghurs in the region are among the top threats to the Olympics, which began on August 8.

But the government has tended to downplay the attacks in the Chinese press. The August 11 attack was initially reported by Xinhua only in English.

Xinjiang is home to the majority Muslim Uyghur people, who chafe under Chinese rule. Uyghurs make up just under half of Xinjiang's 20 million people.