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Kyrgyz Border Guards Detain Three Who Crossed From China

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz border guards have detained three unidentified men they say entered the country illegally from China.

The State Border Guard Service said on January 8 that the men have been apprehended near the border on January 7.

The men had no identification documents but said they were natives of China's Xinjiang region, according to the border service.

It said they confiscated six knives, a map of the area, some Chinese cash, food, and medicine from the men.

Last January, eleven men from Xinjiang who were armed with knives killed a Kyrgyz forest ranger after crossing the border and were later killed by Kyrgyz security forces.

Along with Uyghurs, Xinjiang has indigenous populations of ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Tajiks who live mainly in districts bordering those three Central Asian countries.

China has cracked down on Muslim Uyghurs in recent years.