Kyrgyzstan troops kill Uighur militants near Chinese border

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Video Discription: Originally published on January 24, 2014

Special forces in Kyrgyzstan say they have killed 11 members of a criminal group that they believe entered the country from China.

The eleven individuals are believed to be ethnic Uighur militants based in China's Xinjiang region, where tensions between the Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese immigrants have flared into violent clashes over recent years.

The 11 were killed in Kyrgyzstan on Friday after allegedly illegally crossing the border from China. The suspected Uighur militants first encountered a hunter who shot dead two of the militants before being killed. The militants took the hunter's gun and proceeded towards a frontier post.

Border guards blocked the group and they took refuge in a nearby building. After refusing to surrender, a special forces helicopter was called in and a team of special forces troops killed the remaining nine men.

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan say they suspect the same group of militants was also responsible for an earlier attack that used explosives to destroy buildings in a nearby region. Among the suspects' possessions were a Koran, knives, maps and masks, but no firearms other than the stolen hunting weapon.

China was informed of the deaths of the men, but Chinese border authorities said they had not detected any illegally crossing into Kyrgyzstan, a majority Muslim nation of 5.5 million people that sits at an uneasy cross road between Afghanistan and China. The transit of weapons and drugs through Kyrgyzstan is just one of the many issues that nation faces, alongside political instability and ethnic clashes.


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