The official death toll rose to 35 in a violent rampage in which assailants attacked police and other people with knives and burned cars at a remote town in China’s Xinjiang region, state media said on Friday.
Initial reports said 27 people were killed in Wednesday’s violence, but the updates in state media included severely injured victims who died in the hospital.
The tally includes 11 assailants shot dead in Lukqun township in Turpan prefecture, following their attacks on police stations, a government building and a construction site, Xinhua News agency said. Two police officers were among the 24 people they killed, Xinhua said.
The report did not identify the ethnicity of the attackers, nor explain what may have caused the conflict in the Turkic-speaking region, where ethnic Uighur Muslims have complained of suppression and discrimination by China’s ruling Han people. The report also said police injured and captured four other assailants.
The Wednesday violence described as a terrorist act by China’s state media was one of the bloodiest incidents since unrest in the region’s capital city of Urumqi killed nearly 200 in 2009.
The state-run newspaper Global Times said police have set up many checkpoints along the 30-kilometer road to Lukqun and dissuaded reporters from travelling there due to safety concerns.