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Riot In China's Xinjiang Leaves 16 Dead

Unrest has been reported in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang.

Officials say rioting late on December 15 left 14 people dead when police opened fire. Two policemen were also killed.

The government said on its official news portal Tianshan that police were attacked by a mob throwing explosive devices and wielding knives when they went to arrest "criminal suspects" in a village near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar.

Last month near Kashgar, at least nine civilians and two policemen were killed when a group of people, some armed with axes and knives, attacked a police station.

China has stepped up security in Xinjiang after a vehicle plowed into tourists on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October, killing the three people in the car and two bystanders.

China called the crash an attack carried out by Islamist militants from Xinjiang plotting holy war.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters